There isn’t a more prestigious honour for trainers in the United States than being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Inductions are officially named into the Hall of Fame before the opening Triple Crown race of the season at Churchill Downs, while the official induction takes place in the middle of August.
Finding candidates to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is a competitive selection, with four trainers put forward but only one managing get the place. But, which trainers have been inducted into the Hall of Fame to date?
The most recent inductee into the trainer wing of the Hall of Fame was announced earlier in the year, as Todd Pletcher was rewarded for his training efforts. Pletcher is one of the most respected trainers in the United States, as he has won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer on seven occasions.
As well as that, he won the award in four consecutive years between 2004 and 2007. His most recent winning award came in 2014. Throughout his career, he has recorded over 5,000 winners, which includes victories in some of the most prestigious races.
He has achieved numerous Breeders’ Cup victories, with those wins coming in the Distaff, Sprint, Turf, Dirt Mile, Classic and Juvenile. Pletcher has won the Kentucky Oaks on four occasions, with his most recent win coming this year with Malathaat.
He has also achieved success in the American Classics, as he has won the Kentucky Derby twice, and the Belmont Stakes on three occasions.
Steven Asmussen was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016, and has long been one of the most successful trainers in the United States. Like Pletcher, he has picked up the Eclipse Award in the past, as he has won the accolade on two previous occasions. His first major win as a trainer came in the Mother Goose Stakes, as Dreams Gallore won the trainer his first Grade 1.
He has since won a further two renewals of the race. Asmussen has also claimed five wins in the Arkansas Derby, two wins in the Kentucky Oaks and one win in the Apple Blossom Handicap. Pletcher has also recorded Classic victories during his career, as he has trained the winner of the Preakness Stakes on two occasions, and the winner of the Belmont Stakes on one occasion. It isn’t just in the States that he has had winners on the track, as he also trained the winner of the Dubai World Cup in 2008, and the Nearctic Stakes winner in 2011.
Claude R. McGaughey
Claude R. McGaughey was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004, and he paid special thanks to the Phipps family, who gave him his first job in racing as he was hired to train their horses. McGaughey has claimed over 240 graded winners since 1979, and won the Eclipse Award in 1988.
Among the most prominent success that he achieved throughout his career came in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, which he won on three occasions.
He also won the Travers Stakes on four occasions, Alabama Stakes on four occasions and the Whitney Handicap three times. McGaughey also claimed wins in the Hollywood Derby, Belmont Derby and Metropolitan Handicap. He has also recorded victories in the Triple Crown races.
His win in the Belmont Stakes came in 1989, while he would get his first Kentucky Derby winner in 2013. McGaughey also won various races at the Breeders’ Cup, including the Juvenile, Distaff and Juvenile Fillies.
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