Pletcher Ready for Another Kentucky Derby Run

Considering will have one of the Kentucky Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) favorites in Florida (G1) winner Always Dreaming and several other promising starters in this year's Louisville classic, it's even money the most-repeated -week stat will be the multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainer's 1-for-45 mark in the Louisville classic.

Pletcher currently has five horses ranked in the top 20 on the Kentucky leaderboard used to determine the field: Always Dreaming (7), Tapwrit (12), Malagacy (13), Patch (18), and Battalion Runner (19). Should at least four Pletcher-trained horses start in the , he will pass his former mentor, Hall of Famer , in the category of most starters.

Pletcher will enter this year's Kentucky with one win—Super Saver in 2010—and five other placings from 45 previous starters. While the competitive Pletcher most assuredly wants to add to his win column, he does find some level of satisfaction in the 45 starters.

He has twice started five horses in the , which is a record also matched by Nick Zito and Lukas. Three other times he has started four horses in the .

"We've kind of always taken the approach that this race is the reason why a lot of people are in the business. To have that opportunity, to have a potential starter in the Kentucky , it means a lot to the owners," Pletcher said. "Part of the excitement for us is to see the enjoyment and the excitement that the owners get having a participant in the , participating in the race, participating in the walkover, the post-position draw. It's a very, very exciting time."

The 1-for-45 stat itself plays a bit more dramatically than reality when you consider that—short of a dead-heat—a trainer cannot win a race twice. When Pletcher starts multiple horses in a race, only one can win; and he has started multiple horses in 14 of the 16 years he's started at least one horse in the . In years Pletcher has started five horses, the best he can do is 1-for-5.

In the 16 years Pletcher has sent out at least one starter since 2000, he has one winner. The 1-for-16 strike rate is still lower than one would expect for a trainer who has earned seven Eclipse Awards in those years, but not as dramatic as 1-for-45.

Plus, if Pletcher breaks through with a second win, the narrative would likely change. After all, Lukas and only have four wins.

"We want to do well. We want to win," Pletcher said. "I think our record is not as good as we'd like it to be. But at the same token, I think we've had some horses overachieve on their way to getting there and in some cases, underachieve in the race itself. But, you know, we're also very thankful for the win."

Read More at Blood Horse (US Racing)

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