STEVE ASMUSSEN WINS TRAINING TITLE FOR 17TH TIME AT REMINGTON PARK, DANNY CALDWELL WINS OWNER TITLE FOR 12TH TIME
National Racing Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen has clamped down on the training title at Remington Park like a hungry shark on a tuna, winning this meet for the 17th time and his sixth in a row here.
The training title is named the Chuck Taliaferro Award to honor one of the most prominent trainers in the early days of Remington Park. He won the training titles here in the fall of 1989 and the spring of 1990. Among the top horses he campaigned at Remington Park were multiple stakes winner No More Hard Times and Remington Park Derby (Oklahoma Derby) winner Wicked Destiny in 1990.
Danny Caldwell of Poteau, Okla., won the owner’s title for the second consecutive year, giving him 12 Thoroughbred trophies in all at Remington Park. He is the all-time winningest owner in history here.
With the exception of trainer Karl Broberg in 2015, Asmussen has a streak that goes back to 2007. He has won 14 of the past 15 crowns. In total, he and Donnie Von Hemel have won 29 of the 45 thoroughbred meet titles at Remington Park, going back to 1988, the opening year. There were years in the early days that Remington raced two thoroughbred meets the same calendar year, spring and fall.
“I’m obviously very blessed to have had all the opportunities I’ve had a Remington Park and I’m very thankful,” Asmussen said. “Pablo (Ocampo) has been with me to handle all the horses and he deserves a lot of the credit.”
To give an accurate representation of Asmussen’s and Von Hemel’s dominance at Remington Park, the all-time training titles numbers go Asmussen 17, Von Hemel 12 and then there is a tie for second place with two training titles among Chuck Taliaferro, Clinton Stuart, Kenny Smith, Joe Offolter and Joe Petalino.
Asmussen currently has a huge lead in most wins in the country in 2021 with 447 through Dec. 20, according to Equibase statistics. Broberg was in second with 394. In the earnings category, Asmussen trails Brad Cox nationally, but it’s a close race. Cox’s horses have earned $31,516,228 and Asmussen’s $30,959,351.
The amazing thing about Asmussen’s last four training titles at Remington Park is that his wins began dwindling since his record 104 victories in 2018. He followed that with 83 wins in 2019, 73 in 2020 and 42 this year but somehow continues to win titles. In fact, he was an easy winner this year despite the low totals. Broberg finished second this meet, 11 wins behind Asmussen, with 31 trips to the winner’s circle. The top 10 trainers were rounded out by Scott Young and Austin Gustafson tied for fourth with 26 wins, followed by Oscar Flores (22), fifth; Danny Pish (20), sixth; Kari Craddock (19), seventh; Bret Calhoun (18), eighth, and tied for ninth and tenth were Ronnie Cravens III (17) and Brent Davidson (17)
The 42 trips to the winner’s circle were the fewest for a training title holder since Asmussen’s 38 wins in 2013, the last time he was below this year’s totals.
Since beginning his career in 1986 when he had one win from 15 starters the whole year, he has reached an all-time fantastic milestone, winning more races than any other trainer in the history of the sport. Asmussen passed Dale Baird this year. Baird had held the title for years at 9,445 wins. Asmussen has currently won 9,576.
Asmussen is a two-time winner of the Eclipse Award for trainers, the most prestigious trophy given each year in the industry. Those came in 2008 and 2009. He also has won the Breeders’ Cup Classic twice, North America’s richest race. He did it with Horse of the Year, Gun Runner, in 2017 and with Curlin in 2007. Curlin was named Horse of the Year in 2007 and 2008.
Leading Owner – Danny Caldwell
Caldwell has won 1,065 thoroughbred horse races since he started in the business in 2003 when he started one horse and it didn’t run first, second or third. He got $0 for that race. Since then, his biggest year came in 2017 when his horses earned $3,019,423. His top 10 finishes among owners nationally have been 2020 (7th), 2019 (8th), 2018 (4th), 2017 (4th), 2016 (5th), 2015 (4th), and 2014 (8th). His career stats show him with 5,349 starters; 1,065 wins; 863 seconds, and 739 thirds for earnings of $21,433,276, according to Equibase.
“I’m proud to say this is my home track,” Caldwell said of Remington Park. “It’s a privilege to race here. It’s hard to win races anywhere, but especially at Remington Park.”
Caldwell’s horses won 25 races this year, eight more than runner-up End Zone Athletics’ 17, trainer-owner Karl Broberg’s outfit out of Mansfield, Texas. Rounding out the top 10 owners were Bryan Hawk (14), third; tied for fourth, C.R. Trout (10) and Dream Walkin Farms (10); tied for sixth with eight each were Colleen Davidson, Michael and Linda Mazoch, and JT Stables, and tied for ninth, Steve Williams, Chad and Josh Christensen, and Caden Arthur with seven apiece.
Caldwell’s best year, winning a title at Remington, came in 2016 with 50 wins and $862,830. His horses this year made $636,761. He has won training titles by wins in 2021, 2020, 2011-2018, 2010 and 2008.
Tracked by more than 167,000 fans on Facebook and 10,500 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $281 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Remington Park is located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District. Simulcast horse racing is featured daily, and the casino is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.