Coach Steve Asmussen is alone at the top of the winning list

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SARATOGA SPRINGS – The record, which had been run in advance in recent weeks, came true on Saturday when Steve Asmussen climbed to the top of the training mountain.

Asmussen, 55, holds the record for most thoroughbred trainer wins in North America. When his 2-year-old colt, Stellar Tap, claimed a 5 1/4 victory in race five at Saratoga Racecourse on Saturday, Asmussen claimed career victory at No.9,446. This pushed him past the the late Dale Baird, who ended his career in 2007 with 9,445 wins.

“It’s impossible to put into words what horse racing means to me and all my family and to all the employees,” Asmussen said after receiving a round of applause from the crowd in Saratoga. “They are family and they know it and are treated as such.”

Once the Saratoga meet began, Asmussen’s pursuit of the record intensified. As he got closer, the coach and the record kept paying much more attention.

“I don’t know if it’s healthy to want something at this point,” Asmussen said. “Being so involved in sports and caring so much about what you do, how do you express that? “


The NYRA TV show “Saratoga Live” surprised Asmussen when they had an affair with his parents Keith and Marilyn Asmussen of Texas.

“I am very proud of where I come from and I never want to forget it,” said Asmussen. “It makes you who you are. I love being able to share this with my parents.”

Asmussen won his first race in 1986. During his career he won the Eclipse Award as the country’s outstanding coach twice (2008-09). Among the horses he has trained are Hall of Famers Curlin and Rachel Alexandra as well as Gun Runner, Untapable, Mitole, Midnight Bisou and Creator. Asmussen was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame opposite the Spa in 2016.

The lure

Right before the start of the race, it was announced that favorite Value Proposition, coached by Chad Brown, would only run for the purse money after losing a shoe on the track. No problem. Brown had two other horses in the $ 120,000, 1 1/16 mile race on the Mellon Turf. Flavius, who was the 6-5 favorite, won the race, leading just about all the way.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, Flavius ​​had 1 1/2 lengths ahead of 10-1 Tell Your Daddy and jockey John Velazquez at the finish. Value Proposition finished third but first place in betting went to Dreams of Tomorrow and Jose Lezcano.

Flavius, a 6-year-old War Front son of Juddmonte Farm, has now won four of 12 career starts on the grass.

Test issues

As the graduated stakes debut, Bella Sofia got the maximum mark in the $ 500,000 Grade I seven-stage test.

Led by Saratoga’s top jockey Luis Saez, Bella Sofia quickly launched into the race from the outside post into the eight-field. Pacesetter Illumination carried the pack of 3-year-old fillies through the first fractions of 22.84 seconds for the quarter-mile and 45.70 for the half-mile, with Bella Sofia patiently seated next to her on the outside. half a back. Bella Sofia, coached by Rudy Rodriguez, took over at the exit of the corner and claimed a 4-1 / 4 victory in 1: 21.54 for her third win in four career starts.

Illumination is trained by Hall of Fame Coach Bob Baffert. She was the first horse for Baffert, who was not at Saratoga on Saturday, to race in New York City since a judge lifted a ban by the New York Racing Association not allowing her to race horses in the State.

“She broke perfectly,” Saez said. “We were looking for that place right there to sit and run the stretch. She did it so well and so beautifully. She crossed the stretch quite easily. I knew the only horse (Illumination) had a certain speed, so the plan was to go from there, relax and make a move with it. She is a pretty filly.

Supper Sensational was third, 1 ½ length ahead of the search results favorite.

Glens Falls

After some trouble early on, the 4-5 favorite War Like Goddess pulled off one last-to-first shot to win the Grade II, $ 250,000 Glens Falls by 3 “lengths over My Sister Nat.

The 4 year old bay filly completed the 1½ miles on the indoor turf course in 2: 27.55. It was his fifth victory in six career starts and provided Hall of Fame coach Bill Mott with his sixth victory in the race.

War Like Goddess, brushed between the horses exiting the gate and then pinched back, comfortably lasted 1¼ miles. Jockey Julien Leparoux won over six wide in the home straight and took the lead by the eighth pole.


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