Asmussen starts 9 Saturday, now 6 wins from record

Asmussen starts 9 Saturday, now 6 wins from record

Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen has nine horses entered at four tracks on Saturday in his quest to become the winningest Thoroughbred trainer in North America.

After two winners Friday, Asmussen’s career total is 9,439. That is six short of the record of 9,445 set by the late Dale Baird between 1961 and 2007, according to Equibase.

Asmussen’s eight entries Saturday (with morning-line odds) include:

Heliochrome (7-2), 3-year-old colt, $25,000 claiming, one mile, race 2 at Monmouth Park (12:42 p.m. EDT)

Woodline (9-2), 2-year-old colt, $100,000 maiden special weight, 5 ½ furlongs, race 1 at Saratoga (1:05 p.m. EDT).

Directional (3-1 favorite), 3-year-old gelding, waiver claiming $16,000, one mile, race 4 at Ellis Park (3:14 p.m. EDT)

Stellar Tap (3-1), 2-year-old colt, $100,000 maiden special weight, 1 1/16 miles on turf, race 6 at Saratoga (3:55 p.m. EDT)

Strike Power (15-1), 6-year-old horse, Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1), six furlongs, race 8 at Saratoga (5:03 p.m. EDT)

Singing Aces (6-1), 7-year-old gelding, $5,000 claiming, six furlongs, race 4 at Louisiana Downs (5:03 p.m. EDT)

Madame Ready (6-1), 3-year-old filly, maiden special weight, 5 ½ furlongs on turf, race 8 at Ellis Park (5:10 p.m. EDT)

Hoyam (4-1), 5-year-old mare, $21,000 allowance/optional claimer, 7 ½-furlongs on turf,  race 5 at Louisiana Downs (5:29 p.m. EDT)

Hurricane Florence (5-2 favorite), 3-year-old filly, maiden special weight, one mile on turf, race 7 at Louisiana Downs (6:21 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.

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