Todd Pletcher repeats as top trainer.

Todd Pletcher repeats as top trainer.

Skip Dickstein

Eclipse Award: Todd Pletcher, Trainer

Trainer Todd Pletcher had plenty of opportunities last year, and by the numbers, he made the most of them.

Horses trained by Pletcher made 1,039 starts and collectively earned $20,867,842, the highest one-year earnings figure ever for a trainer. (Bobby Frankel held the previous record of $19,147,129 set in 2003.) Pletcher topped his 2004 earnings total by more than $3 million.

Pletcher averaged $20,084 in earnings per start, a strong figure given the number of starters. But 55% of the time, his horses finished in the top three, and 25% of the time, they won.
Pletcher finished the year with 257 wins -- good for fourth on the list behind Steve Asmussen, Scott Lake, and Jerry Hollendorfer -- 175 seconds, and 135 thirds. Pletcher won 76 stakes -- about one-third of his wins -- 38 of them graded and 10 of them grade I.

One of his top horses in 2005 was Flower Alley, who in his 3-year-old season won the Lane's End (gr. II), Jim Dandy (gr. II), and Travers (gr. I) Stakes, and finished second to Saint Liam in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I). Flower Alley finished second in the voting for champion 3-year-old male of 2005.

Pletcher also trained the retired Ashado, the 3-year-old filly champion of 2004 who won three grade I races -- the Ogden Phipps and Go for Wand Handicaps and the Beldame Stakes -- last year. She repeated as champion, being named top older mare of 2005.

Pletcher is based in New York in the spring, summer, and fall, and South Florida in the winter. Last year, he had strings at Delaware Park and Monmouth Park in the Mid-Atlantic region.

With horses in multiple jurisdictions, Pletcher has four primary assistants -- Tristan Barry, Scott Benzel, Michael McCarthy, and Anthony Sciametta.

Voting for Outstanding Trainer:
Todd Pletcher, 226; Steve Asmussen, 15; Robert Frankel, 5; Richard Dutrow, Jr., 4; Tim Ritchey, 4; Greg Gilchrist, 1; Claude R. McGaughey, III, 1; William I. Mott, 1; Cole Norman, 1; Nick Zito, 1. Voter Abstentions, 3.