2004 Eclipse Trainer: Todd Pletcher

2004 Eclipse Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Photo: Skip Dickstein
Todd Pletcher
Todd Pletcher, who was third in Eclipse Award balloting in 2003 after finishing the year in the No. 2 spot by earnings, ended the 2004 season atop the earnings list. That was good enough for him to cop an Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer.

Pletcher became only the sixth trainer to saddle two Breeders' Cup winners on the same card. He sent out 3-year-old Ashado to win the Breeders' Cup Distaff - Presented by Nextel (gr. I) and Speightstown   to capture the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I). Both Ashado and Speightstown are Eclipse Award winners in their respective divisions.

Ashado's grade I résumé went beyond the Distaff. She earlier had won the Kentucky Oaks and Coaching Club American Oaks, both grade I, and was the divisional leader by number of grade I wins.

Pletcher was only the third trainer in history to crack the $17-million mark in earnings, ending the year with $17,511,923. He saddled two other grade I winners--Lion Tamer (in the Cigar Mile Handicap) and Proud Accolade (Champagne Stakes). Pletcher also came close to adding both the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) to his win total. His charge Newfoundland was narrowly defeated in both races.

Pletcher finished the year with 67 stakes wins, 43 of which came in graded events.

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