Todd Pletcher's deep bench of top quality runners sometimes make it difficult to gauge his accomplishments when compared to those of other trainers. But in 2013, he was in a league of his own, and voters awarded him with his record sixth Eclipse Award.
The 46-year-old Dallas native bettered a pair of Hall of Fame conditioners, Bob Baffert and Bill Mott, to earn the honor for the first time since 2010.
With his sixth selection, Pletcher broke a tie with the late Bobby Frankel (1993, 2000-03), who earned five Eclipses since the award was created in 1971. Pletcher also won four consecutive Eclipse Awards from 2004-07 in addition to 2010.
Pletcher was the runaway winner in total purse earnings during 2013 with $25.2 million, the third time in his career he topped the $25 million mark. Baffert was second, nearly $10 million behind Pletcher, who led that category for the eighth time.
He also led in graded stakes wins with 48 (Baffert was second with 28) and was tops in grade I triumphs with 13. Pletcher won with 224 of his 946 starters, a 24% strike rate, and his runners finished in the money 57% of the time.
Though blanked in the Breeders' Cup World Championships, Pletcher's 3-year-old filly Princess of Sylmar had a championship-caliber season with grade I victories in the Beldame, Alabama, Coaching Club American Oaks, and Kentucky Oaks.
His other major wins during 2013 came with Eclipse finalist Palace Malice , who captured the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), Verrazano (Haskell, Wood Memorial), Cross Traffic (Whitney Handicap), Graydar , (Donn Handicap), and Havana (Champagne), another Eclipse finalist. Pletcher also coaxed grade I wins out of Capo Bastone in the King's Bishop, Overanalyze in the Arkansas Derby, and We Miss Artie in the Breeders' Futurity.
The votes below represent only first-place votes from members of the consolidated voting entities, NTRA, Daily Racing Form, and National Turf Writers And Broadcasters:
Todd Pletcher, 183; D. Wayne Lukas, 21; Jerry Hollendorfer, 9; Bill Mott, 7; Charles LoPresti, 6; Shug McGaughey, 6; Bob Baffert, 5; Steve Asmussen, 3; Chad Brown, 2; Kathy Ritvo, 2; Ollie Figgins, 1; David Jacobson, 1; King Leatherbury, 1; Dale Romans, 1. Voter Abstention, 1.