UPDATE: Asmussen starts 2 Monday in pursuit of record

UPDATE: Asmussen starts 2 Monday in pursuit of record
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

He was shut out Sunday. But with two horses set to start Monday and at least 13 more this week, Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen is still just a matter of days from becoming the winningest Thoroughbred trainer in North American history.

Asmussen has a career total of 9,435 victories, 10 short of the record established by the late Dale Baird between 1961 and 2007, according to Equibase.

“I’m anxious for it to happen,” Asmussen told Ellis Park publicist Jennie Rees last week. “I want to celebrate the accomplishment of it. But you will immediately worry about winning the next one.”

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

Bella Belle (10-1), 7-year-old mare, about one-mile turf claiming, third race at Louisiana Downs (4:37 p.m. EDT).

Pickens (6-1), 4-year-old colt, 5 1/2-furlong allowance, sixth race at Louisiana Downs (5:55 p.m. EDT).

A third entry Monday, the 5-year-old gelding Boldor, had his race canceled because of stormy weather at Colonial Downs. He had been scheduled to race in the 5 1/2-furlong Da Hoss Stakes.

With losses from his last 16 starters, Asmussen is winning this year at a rate of 1.49 wins per day. He is still on pace to break Baird’s record on or around next Monday.

The world record is still perhaps 1 1/2 years away for Asmussen. Based in Peru, trainer Juan Suárez Villarroel has 9,874 victories, including two Sunday, 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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