TRAINER STEVE ASMUSSEN BECOMES ONLY SECOND TRAINER IN HISTORY TO 9,000 WINS
Trainer Steve Asmussen became only the second trainer in thoroughbred racing history to win for the 9,000th time in his career, bringing home Troy Ounce in race two Friday night at Remington Park.
“It’s an awfully significant achievement,” said Asmussen. “I’m very proud, but as you know, it takes a tremendous effort from a lot of people who work for me. Will we celebrate? Heck, yeah! Every day from here on out.”
Asmussen needs 446 more victories to become the all-time winningest trainer in North American thoroughbred history. The current leader is Dale Baird, who went to the winner’s circle 9,445 times in his career.
Asmussen had 433 wins last year and 400 the year before to put things into perspective. He has won more than 400 times in a year 10 times. His best year was 2009 when he won 650 races.
Asmussen runs multiple strings of horses at multiple tracks around the country, simultaneously. When asked how many people are employed under him he said, “I have no idea.”
Asmussen, a member of the National Racing Hall of Fame, won his first race in 1986 at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico as a 20-year-old. He said at that time he had no idea his career would blossom into what it has.
“Back then I was just worried about getting win number two,” he said. “That didn’t come until the next year at Birmingham in Alabama.”
Since then Asmussen has started more than 43,000 horses in races. Now he has his eyes firmly focused on the No. 1 spot.
“It would be very significant to be the all-time winningest trainer,” Asmussen said. “Been thinking about that ever since they started keeping track of wins. That’s why you send them out, to win. If it wasn’t important, they wouldn’t keep stats.”
When he started out, Asmussen was a jockey. He didn’t quite win 9,000 however, growing too big to continue that career.
“I won 63 races in two and half years as a rider,” Asmussen said with a laugh. “We’ve been talking about this 9,000th win in the barn all week and wondering what a graphics map would look like if you marked all the places where horses have won.”
Jockey Stewart Elliott was in the saddle for Asmussen, booting home Troy Ounce for the win in the seven-furlong sprint on the dirt with $7,500 claiming rivals, all searching for their third career score. Troy Ounce, the betting favorite at 4-5 odds, won by three lengths and paid $3.60 to win, $2.60 to place and $2.20 to show. He covered the distance in 1:23.65 seconds over a fast track. The 4-year-old colt by Goldencents, out of the Eddington mare Lazaria Lass, earned $5,502 from the purse for owners L and N Racing of Tulsa, Okla.
Troy Ounce improved his record to three wins from 18 starts and has now earned $86,472. He was bred in Kentucky by Martha Jane Holland and 3480 Equine.
Remington Park racing continues Saturday, Sept. 19 with nine races beginning at 7:07pm-Central.
Tracked by more than 164,000 fans on Facebook and 10,500 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $248 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park is open daily for casino gaming and simulcast horse racing. The 2020 Thoroughbred Season continues through Dec. 20. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.