Steve Asmussen

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    Steve Asmussen
    record at keeneland
    total wins:127
    stakes wins:5
    First Grade 1 Win:
    1999 Mother Goose at Belmont Park with Dreams Gallore
    First Stakes Win:
    1987 Bessemer Stakes at Birmingham Race Course with Scout Command
    First Graded Stakes Win:
    1996 Derby Trial (G3) at Churchill Downs with Valid Expectations
    First Career Win:
    1986 at Ruidoso Downs
    November 18, 1965 in Gettysburg, S.D.

    At Keeneland (through October 2017):

    • Co-leading trainer of 2015 Fall Meet with nine wins.
    • Won three races on Oct. 23, 2015, during the Fall Meet.
    • Leading trainer at the 2004 Spring and Fall meets, the latter in a tie.
    • First Keeneland win came during the 1999 Spring Meet.
    • First Keeneland stakes win was the 2003 Lafayette (G3) with Posse.
    • Five stakes wins include the 2004 Coolmore Lexington (G2) with Quintons Gold Rush.

    Starters in the Toyota Blue Grass:








    Big Truck



    Storm Treasure







    • 2016 inductee into the Racing Hall of Fame.
    • Two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer (2008-2009).
    • Triple Crown wins (3): 2016 Belmont (G1) with Creator; Preakness (G1) with Rachel Alexandra (2009) and Curlin (2007).
    • Breeders’ Cup wins (6): 2007 Classic with Curlin; 2011 Juvenile Fillies with My Miss Aurelia and Turf Sprint with Regally Ready; 2012 Dirt Mile with Tapizar; 2014 Distaff with Untapable; 2017 Classic with Gun Runner.
    • Second all time among trainers by career wins with 7,840 and third with career earnings exceeding $268 million through Nov. 20, 2017. Only the late Dale Baird with 9,445 victories has more wins.
    • Won five consecutive races at Remington Park on Dec. 12, 2017, to equal a track record.
    • 2016 earnings were $14,829,340 with 313 wins, including the Belmont (G1) and Arkansas Derby (G1) with Creator and Clark (G1) with Gun Runner. Was the year's second-leading trainer by victories.
    • 2015 earnings were $10,768,759 with 252 wins, including the Apple Blossom (G1) with Untapable and Frizette (G1) with Nickname.
    • Recorded 7,000th career win April 1, 2015, at Oaklawn. 
    • 2014 earnings were $12,537,551 with 294 wins. Won four Grade 1 races with champion 3-year-old filly Untapable, including the Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
    • Won 307 races in 2013 – more than any other trainer – and sent out earners of $11,925,991. Highlights included victories by Justin Phillip in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1), Tapiture in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) and Cluster of Stars in the Gallant Bloom (G2) and Distaff (G2).
    • Passed Racing Hall of Famer Jack Van Berg to take second place on the list of winningest North American trainers with victory No. 6,418 on March 28, 2013, at Fair Grounds with Jake Jourdan. 
    • Set a record for single-season victories in 2009 with 650 wins, breaking his own record of 621 established in 2008. Leading trainer by wins in 2013 (307), 2011 (348), 2010 (506), 2007 (488), 2005 (473), 2004 (555) and 2002 (407).
    • Twice leading trainer by earnings: 2009 with $21.8 million and 2008 with $24.2 million. Ranked second in 2011, 2010 and 2007.
    • Trained his first champions in 2007: Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male Curlin and Canadian champion 2-year-old colt Kodiak Kowboy. Curlin repeated as Horse of the Year in 2008 (year he won Dubai World Cup-G1) and was champion older male. In 2009, he trained two more champions: Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra and champion sprinter Kodiak Kowboy. In 2011, he trained champion 2-year-old filly My Miss Aurelia.
    • Inducted into the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame in 2011.
    • Won 6,000th race on Nov. 18, 2011, at Remington Park on his 46th birthday.
    • Won 5,000th race on Sept. 11, 2009, at Woodbine; 4,000th on Feb. 17, 2008, at Oaklawn Park; 3,000th on Aug. 5, 2005, at Saratoga.
    • All-time leading trainer at Lone Star Park, where he set a single-season record of 117 victories in 2009. Has won training titles at Aqueduct, Churchill, Ellis, Fair Grounds, Oaklawn, Remington, Retama and Sam Houston.


    The Asmussen family has long been involved in racing. Steve’s parents, Keith and Marilyn, operate El Primero Training Center in Laredo, Texas. Keith is a former jockey who rode the Quarter Horse Vespero to win the 1978 Kansas Futurity at Ruidoso Downs. Marilyn trained Vespero and became the first woman to train the winner of a major race for the sprinters. Steve’s brother, Cash, is an Eclipse Award-winning jockey who became a champion rider in Europe.

    Working on the farm while growing up, Steve began riding at age 16 and was a jockey for a little over two years. “No one would believe me if I didn’t have the pictures to prove it,” he told Daily Racing Form. “My parents were 5’5” and 5’2”. I don’t know what happened.” He grew to be more than six feet tall. Steve returned to the family training center to break yearlings and in 1986 began training on his own in New Mexico with some of his family’s horses.



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