2 from record, Asmussen starts 1 more Wednesday at Spa

2 from record, Asmussen starts 1 more Wednesday at Spa
Photo: Baird family / Eclipse Sportswire

Two wins from tying the North American record for Thoroughbred training victories, Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen has another starter Wednesday after coming up short with his first one.

The 3-year-old colt Demuro (14-1) finished out of the money in a $40,000 maiden-claiming race that was second on the card at Saratoga. Asmussen’s only other entry Wednesday is Casual (7-2), a 4-year-old filly in the $120,000 Shine Again Stakes at Saratoga. The seven-furlong eighth race is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. EDT.

Casual will be ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., who has ridden 797 winners for $57 million in purse earnings. Those are more than any of the 544 jockeys who have taken assignments from Asmussen, according to Ed DeRosa of Brisnet.

 

Asmussen career win total is 9,443, according to Equibase. The current record of 9,445 was set by the late Dale Baird in career that spanned 1961-2007.

Since he has no entries Thursday, the soonest Asmussen could tie and/or break the record is Friday. That is when he has two more starters:

Jalen Journey (5-2), 6-year-old ridgling, $110,000 allowance optional claiming, 6 1/2 furlongs, race 4 at Saratoga (2:49 p.m. EDT).

Shanghai’s Dream (6-5), 4-year-old colt, $19,500 claiming, six furlongs, race 6 at Ellis Park (4:10 p.m. EDT).

The world record is still probably 1 1/2 years away for Asmussen. Based in Peru, trainer Juan Suárez Villarroel has 9,881 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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