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)

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • 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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