At this year’s Kentucky Derby, leading trainer Todd Pletcher will tie his mentor D. Wayne, Lukas, for the most horses in the Derby. He’ll also be celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary with a woman who says she knew from day one what she was getting into when she married the man.
Read on to learn more about Tracy, Todd Pletcher’s wife.
1. She and Todd Were High School Sweethearts
Tracy and Todd were high school sweethearts at Maddison High School. Todd was 7 when he began working in the industry as a hot walker for his father, Jake, in Texas, and was deeply invested in his career by the time he met Tracy.
They couple married on February 29, 1992, in San Antonio, Texas, and today, has homes in Florida and Garden City, New York. Three years after tying the knot, Todd left his position as an assistant at his mentor’s barn and started his own stable at Hialeah Park. He had his first win 13 days after his first starter horse, Paramount, took to the races at Gulfstream Park.
2. She and Todd Have 3 Children
Together, Todd and Tracy have two two sons, Payton (18) and Kyle (17), and a daughter, Hannah (14).
According to Blood Horse, the entire family frequents the racetrack. Payton works in Todd’s barns during the summers and has “already gone on record saying he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps as a trainer,” writes the outlet.
Tracy would often bring the kids to the racetrack while they were growing up to see their father, according to the New York Times. She tells the outlet, “This isn’t just a job or really a career… This is Todd’s passion, and it is our lifestyle.”
3. Tracy ‘Knew What She Was Getting Into’ When She Married Todd
Tracy knew well what marriage to Todd would look like. In 2011, she told the New York Times that she was prepared for “long and odd hours, vital information and decisions often exchanged in barns or clubhouse boxes, and the packing and unpacking as they followed the horses from Florida and around New York.”
Tracy says she remembers the day that his roster grew to 12 horses, “and we could actually fill up a whole sheet of paper with their names and schedules.”
4. She Says Todd Makes Family No. 1
Though Todd’s career can be extremely demanding, he’s always managed to put family ahead of work.
In an interview with Daily Racing Form, Tracy said, “As we’re married longer, our kids grow and our parents age, probably like most people he realizes more and more where the priority is… But Todd’s always made family No. 1. When he’s here it’s really about us and the kids. He’s so good about not bringing things here and letting them spill over. He’s able to be a father and a husband at home.”
5. She Says Her Husband Has a Great Sense of Humor
Tracy says that Todd is a very different man at home than what people see on their televisions. “There’s a playful side to Todd at home, in our backyard, playing basketball with the boys in this goofy attire… black socks and Ugg slippers,” his wife tells Blood Horse. “I don’t think people would (envision) that because they’re always saying stuff about how (sharp) he dresses at work.”
Luckily, Todd deals well with pressure and can handle the most stressful situations with a clear head. Speaking to mySA before the 2013 Kentucky Derby, Tracy said, “It’s going to be very nerve-racking. It always is… But Todd’s very even-keeled and calm.”