10/15/2009 11:00PM

Q&A: Todd Pletcher

Barbara D. Livingston
Pletcher's greatest career moment? "Rags to Riches winning the Belmont."

Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer (2004-07).

Birthdate: June 26, 1967 in Dallas, Texas

Family: Wife Tracy, sons Payton and Kyle, daughter Hannah

Got into racing because . . . "I grew up around it. My dad [J.J.] was training, so it was sort of an obvious thing."

Childhood heroes: "I was a big Dallas Cowboys fan growing up, so guys like Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett."

First job: "Walking hots for my dad."

Best horse seen: "As a kid, I always thought that Spectacular Bid was one of the best horses I've ever seen. That's when my dad was out in California training. Affirmed, Seattle Slew, I never actually saw them in person."

Greatest career moment: "Rags to Riches winning the Belmont."

Most painful moment: "The whole Left Bank situation. He had colic, multiple surgeries, and died from complications several months later." (Left Bank was the Eclipse Award older male horse of 2002.)

Why don't you show your sense of humor on the job? "I try to stay buttoned up, try to separate the two. I try to keep everything on a professional basis."

Favorite athlete outside racing: "I get a lot of fun out of watching my kids play sports. Payton and Kyle play soccer and lacrosse. I like Tim Duncan in basketball. He's one of those guys that consistently shows up every day. A guy like Derek Jeter, too. Guys that consistently show up year after year and handle themselves in the proper fashion, I respect that."

Favorite ice cream: "Lemon custard from Baskin-Robbins. It's hard to find."

Favorite movie: "That's a tough one. I'd go with 'Braveheart.' You've got to respect someone who believes that much in what they stand for."

Last movie seen: "The last movie I saw in the theater was 'The Orphan' with my wife."

Favorite TV show: "Entourage."

Last book read: "I'm currently reading 'A Way of Going,' the autobiography of Nicholas Brady, the former secretary of the Treasury. I have horses for him."

Last vacation: "We took the kids to Hershey Park. We try to make that a yearly tradition. We go two to three weeks before Saratoga opens."

Ambition: "I'd love to win the Kentucky Derby."

If you could change one thing in racing . . . "The one thing that I think racing as a whole would benefit from most would be if there was less racing. We would get more out of less."