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Asmussen Climbs All-Time Trainers List

Eleven-time Fair Grounds trainer champion Steve Asmussen moved up to third on the list of Thoroughbred racing’s all-time leading trainers when Zayat Stable’s Skinny won the seventh race Feb. 17 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots to move the ubiquitous conditioner past the Maryland-based K. T. (King) Leatherbury.

What looms now for Asmussen is the chance to pass Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg (and 10-time Fair Grounds leading trainer) as the nation’s second-leading all-time conditioner.

Through Tuesday, Van Berg, had 6,417 lifetime wins as a trainer while Asmussen had amassed 6,384 career victories as a conditioner. However, Asmussen was credited with 57 wins in 2013 through Tuesday while Van Berg, whose career has slowed down in recent years, had saddled one winner so far this year.

Given the torrid pace of Asmussen’s career over the last few years, his 33-win deficit behind Van Berg could be erased before the 2013 Fair Grounds season comes to a close.

Of Asmussen’s 6,384 wins, 848 of them (14%) have come at Fair Grounds.

Dale Baird is North America’s all-time leading trainer with 9,445 wins.

Asmussen was inducted into the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame in 2011, while Van Berg achieved that honor two decades prior, in 1991.

Through Sunday, Asmussen, in pursuit of his 12th training title at Fair Grounds, was credited with 26 wins and was tied for second with conditioner Bret Calhoun in the 2012-2013 Fair Grounds trainer standings. Both were four wins in arrears of nine-time Fair Grounds trainer champion Tom Amoss, who had saddled 30 winners through that date.

Racing resumes Thursday at Fair Grounds with a nine-race program beginning at 1 p.m.

  

 

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