03/18/2016 3:56PM

Pletcher hits 4,000-win milestone

Todd Pletcher became the 10th trainer in North American history to win 4,000 races.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Todd Pletcher became the 10th trainer in North American racing history to win 4,000 races when his first-time starter Eagle Scout captured Friday’s fifth race at Gulfstream Park. A homebred son of Tapit, Eagle Scout is owned by WinStar Farm, for which Pletcher won his only Kentucky Derby with Super Saver in 2010. Luis Saez rode the winner Friday.

“I’ve been blessed to be able to train a lot of good horses and to be able to consistently do it over a number of years now,” said Pletcher, 48, after the race. “I’m very thankful for that opportunity. What’s cool about milestones like this is that you appreciate all of them. A couple of things that stand out to me is that almost a quarter of those wins have been in stakes, and it’s fun to see horses we’ve developed like the Super Savers and Uncle Mos go on and do well at stud as well. That’s even more important to us.”

Pletcher is well on his way to his 13th consecutive Gulfstream Park training title. Of his 4,000 victories, 767 have come at Gulfstream, including his first career win with Majestic Number on Jan. 26, 1996. He also won his 3,000th race here in February 2012 with Spring Hill Farm. Pletcher has posted 134 stakes victories at Gulfstream, 94 in graded races, including the Grade 1 Florida Derby three times, with Scat Daddy (2007), Constitution (2014), and last year with Materiality. Pletcher has won the Eclipse Award as leading trainer seven times.

“Gulfstream has been good to us over the years,” he said. “For whatever reason, the style we train fits the style of this track. Horses tend to get involved early, and I think that’s an effective style. We’ve been fortunate over the years to have consistent success here.”

Pletcher has earned more purse money than any trainer in history – more than $311 million.

The late Dale Baird is the all-time winningest trainer in racing history with 9,445 victories. Pletcher’s mentor D. Wayne Lukas is seventh on the list with 4,748 wins.