Pletcher Breaks Belmont Victory Mark
Updated: Thursday, July 17, 2003 4:00 PM
Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2003 5:56 PM
Trainer Todd Pletcher broke Frank "Pancho" Martin's 21-year-old Belmont Park spring-summer meeting record for victories when he saddled Zawzooth for a win in Wednesday's $65,000 My Juliet.
Zawzooth, who paid $12.80 in the filly/mare sprint, was victory 37 for Pletcher, surpassing the mark of 36 Martin set in 1982. The triumph for Zawzooth by a length over Forest Heiress, was Pletcher's third and final win of the day.
"It's a great accomplishment for the whole team," said Pletcher, 36. "Anytime you can do something nobody else has done, you have to enjoy it. I'm proud of the whole team."
Through the end of racing today, Pletcher has saddled 125 starters at the meet. His two earlier winner on Wednesday were Brighton ridge ($7.20) in the fourth race and Ella Bella ($3.60) in the fifth race.
"We had the numbers and healthy horses to make the starts," Pletcher said. "Good owners giving you good horses is the most important thing."
With a weekend of racing left at Belmont, Pletcher is focusing his attention on the 134th Saratoga Race Course meet, which begins Wednesday. Hall of Famer Bill Mott holds the record for most wins by a trainer there (22 in 2001). Pletcher was Saratoga's leading trainer last year with 19 victories.
"We're fortunate to have a good run and hopefully, we'll keep it going for Saratoga," Pletcher said. "You always worry when you have a good meet that it won't set you back for the next one. We'll just keep punching and see what happens."
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