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 56-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 1 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, Verrazano (Haskell, Wood Memorial), Cross Traffic (Whitney Handicap), Graydar, (Donn Handicap), and Havana (Champagne), another Eclipse finalist. Pletcher also coaxed Grade 1 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.