LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen collected a couple of victories at Churchill Downs on Friday to pass Louisville native Dale Romans as the all-time leading trainer in track history.
Drop Dead Gorgeous, a 4-year-old filly, got the go-ahead win for Asmussen, his 738th under the Twin Spires.
“If anyone knows American horse racing, they know what Churchill Downs means to the sport,” Asmussen said. “This is a very significant honor. I know the people who have been in this spot before, and been here consistently, and for us to have won the most races is a very proud accomplishment.”
The 54-year-old Asmussen 54, tied Romans for the title on Thursday. Romans had held the record since Nov. 12, 2017 when he surpassed Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who was Churchill Downs’ all-time leader for more than 31 years.
Asmussen also won Friday’s second race with 2-year-old colt Hulen for win No. 739.
Born Nov. 18, 1965 in Gettysburg, S.D., Asmussen’s mother was a trainer and his father was a jockey. His older brother Cash won the 1979 Eclipse Award for apprentice, and was a champion jockey in France. Asmussen started working at his parents’ stable atn early age, and went on to become a jockey himself, until he outgrew the job.
He became a trainer in 1986 and saddled his first winner on July 19 of that year.
Asmussen has gone on to a Hall of Fame career and was enshrined in 2016. He is a two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer and two-time national leader in money-won: 2008-09. He has trained North America’s Horse of the Year four times: Curlin (2007-08), Rachel Alexandra (2009) and Gun Runner (2017).
He is also is a nine-time winner of the national training title in races won (2002, ’04-05, ’07-11 and ’13), including a record 650 wins in 2009. On Feb. 7, 2004, he won a North American record 10 races, including three stakes, from 16 starters at five racetracks (Delta Downs, Fair Grounds, Oaklawn Park, Sam Houston Race Park and Sunland Park).
His biggest wins include the Preakness twice (Curlin in 2007 and Rachel Alexandra in 2009), the Belmont Stakes (Creator in 2016), the Breeders’ Cup Classic twice (Curlin in 2007 and Gun Runner in 2017) and Dubai World Cup (Curlin in 2008).
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