Amoss Off To a Fast Start At Churchill Downs’ September Meet

(Trainer Tom Amoss / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

We chatted with trainer Tom Amoss a couple of times last week, and had him on “The Pressbox” podcast show. Every time we talked, you sensed a feeling that he may be sitting on a good meet. You got the inkling that he may have some horses ready to run. You certainly got the idea that he was looking forward to Churchill Downs opening back up.

And, with good reason.

After the first week, Tom Amoss — one of the most talented and gifted trainers in the game today — has jumped out to a quick lead in the Trainer Standings at this year’s short and sweet meet. So far, he has started just five horses. And, so far, so good. Of the five to get the saddle, three of them have won — including the ultra impressive Serengetti Empress, who galloped home nearly 20 lengths in front in the G2 Pocahontas Stakes under the Twin Spires last Saturday.

Not a bad few days.

To put it in perspective, trainer Steve Asmussen has started 23 horses so far this meet and has 2 winners. Brad Cox, another perennial leader here, has started 11 horses so far and has 2 winners. The only other trainer with 2 winners so far is Victoria Oliver, who has started only 3 horses.

Not a bad few days.

Here’s a closer look at the top 25 trainers so far this meet:

1Thomas M. Amoss5300$159,62460%60%
2Steven M. Asmussen23241$153,3989%30%
3Kenneth G. McPeek8103$120,61513%50%
4Brad H. Cox11213$110,58318%55%
5Ian R. Wilkes9123$78,43411%67%
6Victoria H. Oliver3201$72,80067%100%
7Ignacio Correas, IV3110$70,24533%67%
8J. Larry Jones4120$69,60025%75%
9Dale L. Romans6120$55,93917%50%
10Neil J. Howard3100$40,74033%33%
11Doug F. O’Neill1010$37,6000%100%
12Helen Pitts2100$36,14550%50%
13Rodolphe Brisset3100$35,11533%33%
14George R. Arnold, II4100$35,00225%25%
15Rick Hiles1100$34,800100%100%
16Norm W. Casse3100$33,86533%33%
17Andrew McKeever1100$33,600100%100%
18Joe Sharp4110$32,27725%50%
19Gregory D. Foley7120$30,46014%43%
20Brendan P. Walsh5004$27,8500%80%
21Chris A. Hartman5110$25,98020%40%
22William B. Van Meter3100$23,47733%33%
23Tim Glyshaw2100$22,95050%50%
24Scott Gelner3100$21,46533%33%
25Michael J. Maker4010$17,0900%25%


(Data Courtesy of Equibase)

I was absolutely dancing into the Winner’s Circle. It was so exciting and Joel has been like one of my kids ever since he came from Bay Meadows. We tease each other a lot. We greet each other by grunting and everybody looks at us like, ‘what’s that all about’ but we’ve been doing it for years. So it’s wonderful to win with him. The owners are great people that really deserve something like this.

“This horse seems like he’s more adept at seven furlongs to a mile so I’m not sure he wants a mile and a quarter …

“I could tell my horse had won, but I was so excited in the stretch I thought I was gonna pass out.

“We are very happy with the way our horse had trained for this race, but it’s always scary when you get a look at those Baffert ‘Maseratis’, it pretty much unfolded the way we had hoped.

“The people that own this horse, they’ve got this colt a seven furlong-miler type maybe time will tell differently, but the other colt they are focusing on him going the two turns.”

  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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