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Belmont Stakes 2013: Todd Pletcher Solidifies Hall of Fame Case After Latest Win

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 20: Trainer Todd Pletcher watches his Preakness horse Dance City go over the track at Pimlico Race Course on May 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The 136th running of the Preakness Stakes will take place on May 21. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Mike HoagCorrespondent IIJune 9, 2013

The 2013 Belmont Stakes victory gives trainer Todd Pletcher three Triple Crown victories.

From the beginning of his career, Pletcher has been groomed by champions. He got his start working for Hall of Famers D. Wayne Lukas and Charlie Whittingham.

Here’s a breakdown of his three key achievements:

  • 2007—Rags to Riches, Belmont Stakes winner
  • 2010—Super Saver, Kentucky Derby winner
  • 2013—Palace Malice, Belmont Stakes winner

Those wins speak for themselves, but they aren’t the extent to the heights Pletcher has reached as a thoroughbred trainer.

He fielded five horses of the 14-horse Belmont Stakes field in 2013. Before that, he also sent five to the Kentucky Derby in April. His wins have been piling up over the years, making him one of, if not the very best trainers active today.

In 14,442 starts, Pletcher has amassed 3,282 first-place, 2,329 second-place and 1,887 third-place finishes during his 18-year training career, according to Equibase.com. His total earnings are in excess of $240 million.

After hearing that, there’s no denying the expertise he has cultivated throughout the course of his career.

So how does Pletcher end up landing in the Hall of Fame?

Trainers can become eligible for nomination to the Hall of Fame after being licensed thoroughbred trainers for at least 25 years, according to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Pletcher has been training horses for just 18 years, receiving his license back in 1995 after standing out as Lukas’ East Coast assistant.

If the 10-person nominating committee, comprised of former racing writers, editors, broadcasters, historians and commentators, feels compelled, however, it could vote to waive the 25-year requirement, but Pletcher would still have to wait for five years before being inducted.

A nomination can come from anyone, but eventually it must be voted on by that 10-person committee.

After another Triple Crown win, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if that’s exactly how things played out.

*All Hall of Fame information was obtained from the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame website.

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