Asmussen Reaches 9,000-Win Mark: ‘If It Wasn’t Important, They Wouldn’t Keep Stats’

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 in Oklahoma City, Okla.

“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 the late 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 in the Remington Park winner’s circle, with Stewart Elliott aboard

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 Mulholland and 3480 Equine.

Asmussen went into Friday needing two wins to hit the 9,000 mark. His 8,999th victory came in the seventh race at Churchill Downs when first-time starter Stayin’ Out Late, a son of leading sire Tapit, won a 2-year-old maiden race under Ricardo Santana Jr. for Three Chimneys Farm and Harrell Ventures. He was one of 10 Asmussen runners competing at three different tracks on Friday.

Remington Park racing continues Saturday, Sept. 19 with nine races beginning at 7:07 p.m. CT.

The post Asmussen Reaches 9,000-Win Mark: ‘If It Wasn’t Important, They Wouldn’t Keep Stats’ appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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