Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. reached a career milestone at Gulfstream Park Friday, making his 2,000th trip to the winner’s circle after saddling Salt Water Cowboy for a victory in the fourth race.
Following a winner’s circle celebration, the South Florida-based trainer reflected on his impressive body of work with Gulfstream Park publicity.
“It didn’t mean anything until you get close. Then, you look back. You’ve been in it for a lot of years and you’ve been lucky enough, fortunate enough to still be in this game and have the kind of owners I’ve had for however many years it’s been,” Plesa said. “You’re just very, very thankful for the people you have working for you that have been with you for a number of years, which my people have been. They’ve been a big part of this.”
Plesa has saddled the winners of more than $43 million.
The 62-year-old native of Seattle, Wash. won the training title at Gulfstream Park in 1997 and has captured numerous titles at Calder Race Course.
“It’s not something you go in and say, ‘I’m going to go out and win a thousand races, two thousand races,’” said Plesa, whose was joined in the winner’s circle by his wife, Laurie, who owns Salt Water Cowboy in a partnership with Trilogy Stables. “It’s just an accumulation of a lot of hard work and a lot of luck.”
Eddie Plesa/Coglianese photo