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Steve Asmussen reaches 10,000 wins


Trainer Steve Asmussen after winning the 2021 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies with Echo Zulu.
Date: 2/20/2023

Trainer Steve Asmussen, a resident of Arlington, Texas, notched win number 10,000 with Bet He's Ready in the fifth race at Oaklawn today. His first victory was in 1986 at Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, with Victory's Halo and that was his only win that year in 15 starts. Asmussen was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2016 and has won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer twice, 2008 and 2009. He topped the list of trainers by lifetime wins on August 7, 2021, and will only continue to draw away. He leads the second place trainer Dale Baird, who is retired already, by over 500 wins and third place trainer Jerry Hollendorfer by over 2,000 wins.

Trainer Steve Asmussen saddles Jackie's Warrior at Saratoga before winning the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap.

After the 10,000th win Asmussen told Oaklawn TV in the winner's circle, "It's very hard to put into words just all the support that we continually have got. It was a wonderful thing. I can't say how blessed I am to have the family here and just the continued support I've always had. We were stuck on '99' in that time. I guess we just wanted to be a bit dramatic."

Asmussen, who is 57 years old, was born in Gettysburg, South Dakota, and grew up in Laredo Texas. He is from a horse racing family with his parents, Keith and Marilyn both in racing, and his older brother Cash being a jockey. His sons are carrying on the legacy with sons Keith as a jockey and Erik as a horse owner. Asmussen said, "Just being a family affair for me. Coming from mom and dad and a racing family, just all the well wishes we've had since we've been close."

Trainer Steve Asmussen follows Curlin on the walkover before the 2007 Preakness.

In the Triple Crown he has three wins, but is still winless in the Derby. He won the Preakness in 2007 with Curlin and 2009 with Rachel Alexandra, and the Belmont in 2016 with Creator. He has come close in Louisville, finishing second with Nehro in 2011, Lookin at Lee in 2017, and Epicenter in 2022. He has eight Breeders' Cup World Championship wins, including Gun Runner in the 2017 Classic, and Curlin in the 2007 Classic, and most recently Echo Zulu in the 2021 Juvenile Fillies.

Steve Asmussen with Gun Runner after winning the 2018 Pegasus Word Cup.

At time of writing (February 20, 2023) Asmussen has a record of 10,000 wins, 8,177 seconds, and 6,952 thirds in 49,210 starts, with purse earnings of over $405 million. Gun Runner is far and away his best horse, winner of $15.9 million including the 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic (leading to Horse of the Year honors) and the 2018 Pegasus World Cup. Curlin ranks second with his $10.4 million, followed by Midnight Bisou, winner of $6.9 million. His other notable horses with earnings in excess of $2 million are Untapable, Midnight Bourbon, Mitole, Jackie's Warrior, Epicenter, Rachel Alexandria, My Miss Aurelia, Echo Zulu, and Clairiere.

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