“This is what I would like to do on vacation”: Asmussen 11 all-time record wins – Horse Racing News


Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen was at Ellis Park for a few hours Friday morning to check on his horses at the stable with assistant trainer Darren Fleming. Asmussen, who started the day with 9,434 wins, took the time to talk about getting closer to the late Dale Baird’s North American record of 9,445 wins. He spoke to Ellis Park publicist Jennie Rees.

The last time we checked you had 12 wins to go.

“We had a winner (Thursday) in the second race at Saratoga. So we’re at 11 now. We have a good chance the rest of the week across the country. But with 11 to go, it gets pretty exciting.

And is it 11 to break or 11 to tie?

“Eleven tied. A tie in horse racing is a victory.

But not in your mind; I have a feeling you won’t be happy with a tie.

“The goal is 11. If we can get 11, the rest will take care of themselves.”

You’re very open to being very goal-oriented, and you’ve been thinking about it for a few years.

“Absolutely. We are lucky to have opportunities. We train for the biggest owners in the country and we have a lot of chances of winning races. I’m not surprised by the races we win; I’m a bit surprised by the races we’ve been beaten in. I think reaching a milestone like this allows you to look back and reflect on how far you’ve come.

You had wonderful lines on chasing to be # 1 I think you once said, “Why aspire to be # 2?”

“Well, if it didn’t matter, why do they keep counting, right?” Extremely blessed to grow up in horse racing and be a part of it all my life. Very lucky to still have my parents involved, and we collectively enjoyed the pursuit. It will mean a lot when we get there.

Do you remember when you took over # 2, and who did you pass?

“Hollendorfer. And I was lucky enough to meet him when he had a thong in Arlington, I think in the early 90s…. When we got to # 2 he always cheered me on, let me know I was able to catch up with him. Dale Baird – a formidable achievement no matter where you win races. If you are into horse racing you know how difficult it is to win a horse race at any level. I think it is extremely important to one day hope to become the most successful horse trainer of all time.

Have you met Dale Baird already?

“I met him when I was stable in Hawthorne in the fall and he came there to buy horses.”

Have you ever told him, “I’m coming after you?”

” Oh my God no. At the time, I was just hoping to win a race. But years later, with the opportunity, we have racked up some numbers.

Do you remember when it occurred to you that “I can be the most successful coach ever? Or was it a gradual awakening?

“Oh, by the time I was 12, I don’t know. I was extremely lucky in the situation I grew up in, to know, believe and be right about my parents’ great riders. (Have) an older brother, from South Texas or not, who won the Eclipse and was the best rider in New York and quintuple Golden Whip Award (in France). When you have this kind of example in front of you, what are you afraid of? “

Ron Flatter of Horse Racing Nation said that you are very aware that the Baird record is just for North America, that a coach in South America holds the overall rating. (As Flatter wrote: “At his pace this year of 1.51 wins per day, Asmussen is set to break Baird’s record around July 30 …. The world record is still around a year old. and a half for Asmussen. Peru-based coach Juan Suárez Villarroel, who has added five wins since Sunday, has 9,871 wins, according to the Página de Turf website.

“Juan Suárez Villarroel. He’s about 300m ahead of me and he’s making a few hundred more a year. “

And that’s your next goal?

“Winning the Derby is my next goal. But the beautiful thing about it all is that you feel like you’re in the middle of it. It has never been better. The team is very strong at the moment. We have great prospects which should continue to win.

Does it tire you out of being so goal-oriented? Or, because you don’t exhaust yourself with being goal oriented, are you able to be? If you follow …

“That’s what I would like to do on vacation. I think the saying is extremely (apt): if you do what you love, you don’t ever work a day in your life. We are incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to participate in horse races.

When was the last time you took what most people think of as a vacation?

“Me and Julie took a vacation including the whole family went to Hawaii last year after Christmas. “

No race tracks there.

“No, (but) time with the family. I think this is my favorite part of horse racing – how the whole family cares about it and how the whole family cares all the time – from my parents to Julie to the boys and my beautiful -family. Easy to follow and fun to be a part of.

Julie once told me that you got married on a dark day. Tuesday, maybe?

“We got married on a Tuesday. All three of our children, she was induced into labor on Tuesday, the dark days. Yes, our life has revolved around horse racing.

Now you can claim the record win, a record win on any of the six or seven tracks.

“Right now we run regularly here at Ellis Park, Louisiana Downs, Indiana Grand, Monmouth Park and Saratoga.”

You slipped a couple at Colonial Downs on Monday, I noticed.

“I had a couple of them at Colonial. When a horse is ready to run, you have to find a race for it.

How will it be if you’re not there in person when you get the disc?

“You are there in person. I mean, if it happens. I can’t wait for this to happen and want to celebrate its accomplishment. But you will immediately worry about winning the next one.

Are you sending Darren Fleming, your assistant here at Ellis, live shots so he can maybe have a chance to be the one (when you get the record)?

“Everything you enter, you try to win; that’s kind of the idea.

But there’s trying to win and then there’s …

“No, we have some really nice horses this week at Ellis. But I would be surprised if that happened before the first or second week of August. In August, with competitions closing and others just starting, we don’t have as many registrations as usual.

Can you give us an update on Midnight Bourbon (the Preakness finalist who cut his heels and fell in the $ 1million Haskell at Monmouth Park), since he snapped his young daughter in the summer? last in Ellis?

“He’s back in jogging.”

It’s incredible that he came out unscathed.

“He is. Well, I don’t know the word unharmed. (You don’t know) what it did to his head and stuff like that. His energy level is good. He looks good. under the tack. He’s got a few nicks and nicks that need attention, and we’re going to heal them and get him moving for now. But his energy level is very high. “

Last question, the high-stakes weekends at Ellis Park are just a few weeks away. But do you have any horses currently targeted for the Kentucky Downs Preview Weekend or the following week when we have the Ellis Park Derby and the 2 year old stakes?

“We do. Undecided on who exactly, but we will be represented on those days.

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