Asmussen Continues to Hold Slim Lead in Ellis Park’s Trainer Standings

(Trainer Steve Asmussen / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

Going into Friday’s races this week, Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen is just one start away from having 100 runners so far this meet at Ellis Park. The next one to face the starter, will be #100.

Simply put, that is amazing.

And, simple math will tell you that is the same number of horses to start a race as saddled by the barns of the next 3 trainers in the standings — Brad Cox, Dale Romans, and Brendan Walsh. Those 3 have sent exactly 100 horses to the gate so far this meet, with Cox leading that trio with 40, while Romans has 26 and Walsh 34.

But while the numbers of starters is seriously tilted towards Asmussen so far, the quiet Texas native only holds a 1-win lead in the Trainer Standings so far in little Henderson, KY.

After the first 99 starts this meet, Asmussen has amassed a record of 13-14-13 and his horses have totaled $443,424 in purse earnings. That’s just a win in front of Cox, who has a 12-6-8 mark in his 40 starts, and his horses have won over $486,000.

Romans holds onto third in the standings with a 8-3-5 mark in just 26 starts, and his horses have won over $265,000 in purses.

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

1Brad H. Cox401268$486,00430%65%
2Steven M. Asmussen99131413$443,42413%40%
3Dale L. Romans26835$265,15031%62%
4Brendan P. Walsh34545$243,43415%41%
5Michael J. Maker275102$193,94619%63%
6Mark E. Casse22604$187,33827%45%
7Ian R. Wilkes28423$180,99214%32%
8George R. Arnold, II19510$180,81526%32%
9Peter Miller20262$180,22610%50%
10Kenneth G. McPeek29425$146,71014%38%
11Victoria H. Oliver17323$138,22118%47%
12Paul J. McGee10411$136,18040%60%
13Ron Moquett19402$134,96821%32%
14Joe Sharp26343$134,31012%38%
15J. Larry Jones17331$124,68418%41%
16Gregory D. Foley16232$120,88813%44%
17John Alexander Ortiz12303$103,21025%50%
18Eddie Kenneally15234$102,92113%60%
19Ben Colebrook16331$99,51219%44%
20Dallas Stewart17211$87,51012%24%
21Daniel C. Peitz13233$82,70015%62%
22J. Keith Desormeaux8202$78,38525%50%
23Norman McKnight21650$76,17629%52%
24William I. Mott5210$74,06340%60%
25Angel O. Montano, Sr.4200$65,82550%50%

(Stats compiled by 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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