Brad Penner, USA Today Sports
Much is said each year about trainer Todd Pletcher’s less-than-desirable Kentucky Derby record. If only those pundits would be so kind as to mention his Belmont record each year as well. You know, even out the scales a little bit? While the first Saturday in May still seems like a Rubik’s Cube mismatched for Pletcher, the final leg of racing’s Triple Crown has been a career-maker.
The most postrace exuberance Pletcher has ever shown was after the 2007 Belmont Stakes, when his top-class filly Rags to Riches won a ferocious stretch duel against the great Curlin. The now 50-year-old Texan was flailing his arms and yelling like any other fan, as he had just won his first Triple Crown race.
Home Away From Home
Since that memorable win in 2007, Pletcher has added two more Belmont wins to his ledger, including last year with Tapwrit. However, those two wins don’t exactly spell out the truth of just how good Pletcher has been in the Belmont. When we take a closer look, we’ll find that he has had one horse in the exacta in four of the past five Belmonts. Commissioner and Destin were very small margins away from potentially giving Pletcher five Belmont winners.