Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen has two horses entered at both Saratoga and Ellis Park on Friday in his quest to become the winningest Thoroughbred trainer in North America.
After one winner on Thursday, Asmussen’s career total is 9,437. That is eight short of the record of 9,445 set by the late Dale Baird between 1961 and 2007, according to Equibase.
Asmussen’s four entries Friday (with morning-line odds) include:
Bad Boy (7-5 favorite), 5-year-old gelding, $16,000 claiming, 1 1/16 miles on turf, first race at Ellis Park (1:50 p.m. EDT).
Tomato Bill (7-1), 4-year-old colt, $50,000 claiming, 5 1/2 furlongs on turf, race 3 at Saratoga (2:15 p.m. EDT).
American Xperiment (2-1), 2-year-old colt, $100,000 maiden special weight, 5 1/2 furlongs on turf, race 6 at Saratoga (3:55 p.m. EDT).
Miss Americana (5-2 favorite), 3-year-old filly, $51,000 maiden special weight, one mile on turf, eighth race at Ellis Park (5:10 p.m. EDT).
Asmussen is averaging 1.47 victories per day in 2021. That puts him on pace to break Baird’s record on or around next Wednesday.
The world record may be 1 1/2 years away for Asmussen. Based in Peru, trainer Juan Suárez Villarroel has 9,874 victories, according to the website Página de Turf. Since last fall Suárez Villarroel has averaged about 0.75 wins per day, meaning Asmussen could catch him in early 2023 if both maintain their current win rates.