Asmussen Running Away With Churchill Downs’ Training Title — Again

(Steve Asmussen got his 700th career win at Churchill Downs this meet / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

As the late, great Don Meredith — the former NFL quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys and the better broadcaster for “Monday Night Football” — used to say…

You can turn out the lights.

The party is over.

Actually, “Dandy Don” would try to sing it in his best Country-Western style.

Wasn’t much to listen to…but very accurate.

And, you can tune that little ditty up right now.

For the trainer’s race at the current Churchill Downs’ Spring/Summer meet?

Well, you can turn out the lights.

The party is over.

Steve Asmussen, another Texan and probably a fan of Meredith’s, has blown away the competition and blown out the candles on this cake. After Sunday’s races were all done, Asmussen had amassed 27 wins, 26 seconds and 21 thirds in 161 saddle jobs this meet.

His horses have won .17% of the time.

His horses have finished “in the money” .46% of the time.

And, most importantly, his horses have earned over $2.788 million — to top all trainers this meet, as well.

The second leading trainer is Eddie Kenneally, who is 11 wins farther back at 16 wins. Brad Cox has made 14 trips to the “circle,” with Mike Maker tallying 13 wins, and Tom Amoss 12.

Here’s a closer look at the Top 25:

1Steven M. Asmussen161272621$2,788,42417%46%
2William I. Mott26424$2,572,88515%38%
3Brad H. Cox5114119$1,146,46427%67%
4Thomas M. Amoss481258$1,127,04625%52%
5Chad C. Brown13311$1,025,61823%38%
6Eddie Kenneally551698$819,85829%60%
7Dallas Stewart54943$806,84217%30%
8Claude R. McGaughey III15140$738,7697%33%
9Bob Baffert16232$725,68813%44%
10George R. Arnold, II41755$672,92017%41%
11Mark E. Casse49557$662,48910%35%
12Michael J. Maker7713148$659,99917%45%
13Ian R. Wilkes68845$591,43212%25%
14W. Bret Calhoun28536$575,15118%50%
15Albert M. Stall, Jr.25755$517,65528%68%
16Joe Sharp63876$495,18113%33%
17Brendan P. Walsh43663$443,11314%35%
18J. Larry Jones27564$432,81019%56%
19Dale L. Romans50556$420,42110%32%
20Gregory D. Foley44766$327,29816%43%
21Wayne M. Catalano17052$320,4730%41%
22Kenneth G. McPeek45592$316,71511%36%
23Chris A. Hartman42437$294,00510%33%
24Rodolphe Brisset23521$287,55122%35%
25Ben Colebrook29315$286,22510%31%

(Stats 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 ...

    Full Bio >

More From Gene McLean