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It’s easy to figure out where Todd Pletcher got the idea to enter five horses in this year’s Kentucky Derby. He used to work for D. Wayne Lukas.
For the longest time, Lukas was the biggest star in the sport.
In 1996, Lukas won his third Derby with Grindstone, a horse he considered the weakest of his five entries. At 77, Lukas has 13 Triple Crown wins, including four at the Derby, and is already in the Hall of Fame.
Pletcher tried overwhelming the Derby the same way. He daringly took aim with four horses his first time, in 2000, and then tried a record-tying five in 2007. It wasn’t until he saddled four in 2010 that long shot Super Saver delivered.