Who Were The Horse Racing Trainers That Had The Best Year?

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It has been an excellent year of horse racing action throughout 2022, with some of the best performances coming at the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland. However, the stars made on track would have been put through their paces by some of the leading trainers in the United States. 

The work done in yards is often overlooked when it comes to creating stars, but it has been a memorable 2022 for some of the biggest trainers. So, which stars have enjoyed the best campaigns this year and who should you be paying attention to when looking at horse racing picks today?

Chad Brown

Things may not be going too well for Chad Brown away from the track, but the turf master has enjoyed an excellent year in terms of earnings. No trainer in the United States has won more in prize money than Brown this term, as he is the only trainer to have won over $30 million. He has managed to achieve that feat despite having fewer starters than the remaining trainers in the top three. 

Brown has landed 233 wins in 2022, and is currently operating at a very strong 27% strike rate. His most profitable runner this season has been Zandon, who landed victory in the G1 Blue Grass earlier in the campaign. Other Grade 1 winners this season include Goodnight Olive, Jack Christopher and In Italian.

Todd Pletcher

It has been an excellent season for Todd Pletcher, and it is no surprise that he ranks high in terms of the most profitable trainers this year. Pletcher has sent out 902 runners this season, and he has landed 202 winners. In total, he has amassed prize money of more than $28 million, and he is currently operating at a strike rate of 22%. 

The American has also had 147 horses finish in second and 121 finish third. His star performer in terms of prize money this season has been Life Is Good, who claimed victory in the G1 Pegasus World Cup in January. Malathaat was one of his big wins at the Breeders’ Cup, with the filly winning the Distaff. Further Grade 1 success was achieved at the Breeders’ Cup by Forte, while Mo Donegal claimed victory in the Belmont Stakes for Pletcher. 

Steven Asmussen

No trainer in the top 20 of the rankings has sent out more runners in 2022 than Steven Asmussen. Therefore, it should come as little surprise that he has picked up the third-highest amount in terms of prize money. Asmussen has claimed 339 wins from 1,976 starters, while 312 of his runners have finished in second place. He is still operating at a very reliable strike rate of 18%, but that is lower than the top four in the standings. 

His highest earning horse in training this season has been Epicenter, who finished second in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. However, his win in the G1 Travers Stakes means that he has won just under $3 million. Other Grade 1 winners that Asmussen has recorded this season have come in the forms of Jackie’s Warrior, Society, and Clairiere. 

Notable Mentions

There have been some trainers that have stunning records in the US, but none of those come close to Charlie Appleby. In terms of just American racing, he sits 20th in the standings, despite having sent out just 17 runners. He has a remarkable strike rate of 47%, which includes victories at the Breeders’ Cup with Rebel’s Romance and Modern Games in the Turf and Mile, respectively.

It would also be hard to ignore the season that Eric Reed has enjoyed. The trainer recorded a first Grade 1 win in dramatic fashion at Churchill Downs, as Rich Strike was the unlikely winner of the Kentucky Derby. The three-year-old is considerably his highest earning horse ever, having won just under $2.5 million. 

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Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
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