Well on his way to a ninth straight training title at Gulfstream, Pletcher became the 26th trainer in Thoroughbred history to reach 3,000 wins. Spring Hill Farm’s front-running 1 1/4-length victory under jockey John Velazquez marked Pletcher’s 40th visit to the Gulfstream winner’s circle this season.
“It gives you a little time to reflect," Pletcher said. "There’s not many opportunities to reflect in this business, but milestones like this gives you a chance to appreciate all of them."
The former assistant to Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas saddled his first winner, Majestic Number, at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 26, 1996.
“It’s been a great run. We’ve been very fortunate–a lot of great owners, a lot of great horses, tremendous help, a tremendous staff,” Pletcher said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
Pletcher has been honored with five Eclipse Awards as outstanding trainer and has led the nation in purses on six occasions, including the past two years. During his career, he has saddled the winners of nearly $214 million in purses.
The 44-year-old native of Dallas has campaigned nine champions, including Rags to Riches, Ashado, English Channel , Left Bank, Uncle Mo , Lawyer Ron, Fleet Indian, Speightstown , and Wait a While. In 2010 Pletcher won his first Kentucky Derby (gr. I) with Super Saver .