March 28, 2023

American Pharoah, Todd Pletcher, Jack Fisher selected for Hall of Fame

Todd Pletcher (Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photography)

Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and trainers Todd Pletcher and Jack Fisher have been announced as the 2021 inductees into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

American Pharoah became the sport’s 12th Triple Crown winner in 2015, snapping a 37-drought that dated to Affirmed’s sweep of the Kentucky Derby (G1), Preakness (G1), and Belmont S. (G1) in 1978. Owned by Zayat Stables and trained Bob Baffert, American Pharoah earned Horse of the Year and champion three-year-old colt honors that season after winning seven of eight starts. His other stakes wins included the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Haskell Invitational (G1), Arkansas Derby (G1), and Rebel (G1).

American Pharoah was also voted champion juvenile colt of 2014 after wins in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and FrontRunner (G1). He earned more than $8.6 million.

“He did everything so effortlessly and with such class. The way he moved, his mechanics were absolutely flawless,” Baffert said. “He also has such a wonderful personality. Pharoah is really a sweet and kind horse and he loves humans.”

Pletcher, 53, has won seven Eclipse Awards as champion trainer and has saddled more than 5,100 winners that have earned in excess of $405 million in a career that began in 1996. He has five Triple Crown race wins to his credit, two in the Kentucky Derby and three in the Belmont, and 11 Breeders’ Cup wins.

Pletcher has trained 11 divisional champions: Ashado, English Channel, Fleet Indian, Lawyer Ron, Left Bank, Rags to Riches, Shanghai Bobby, Speightstown, Wait a While, Uncle Mo, and Vino Rosso. His most recent Grade 1 triumph, from a total that currently stands at 166, came in last week’s Kentucky Oaks with Malathaat.

“I’m really humbled to be elected to the Hall of Fame. It’s an incredible honor and something that doesn’t happen without having great support around you,” Pletcher said. “I’ve been extremely fortunate to have a great team to work with and my family has been there every step of the way. There have been so many great owners who have trusted me with their horses and those horses have meant everything to me.”

Fisher, who was chosen for induction by the Museum’s Steeplechase Review Committee, has led the steeplechase trainer standings in wins 13 times and its earnings list eight times. The 57-year-old Pennsylvania native won his first race in 1988 and has notably trained Eclipse champions Good Night Shirt (2007-08), Scorpiancer (2017), and Moscato (2020).

“I’ve always loved being around horses. It’s been my life,” Fisher said. “I was terrible in school and didn’t want to be there. I loved riding and I love training.”

The class of 2021 will be enshrined along with the 2020 inductees — trainer Mark Casse, jockey Darrel McHargue, horses Tom Bowling and Wise Dan, and Pillars of the Turf Alice Headley Chandler, J. Keene Daingerfield Jr., and George D. Widener Jr. — on Aug. 6 at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion in Saratoga Springs, New York at 10:30 a.m. ET.