Asmussen Becomes First Trainer to Win 800 Races at Churchill Downs

Oct 02, 2021

In the midst of a milestone-filled 2021, Steve Asmussen became the first trainer in Churchill Downs history to saddle 800 winners beneath the Twin Spires when promising 2-year-old Dr. Perry won Saturday’s sixth race.

Asmussen, who scored his record-breaking 9,446th career win on Aug. 6, is the all-time leading trainer in races won at Churchill Downs.

The record 24-time training champion at Churchill Downs, won his first race at the Louisville oval on May 16, 1993 with Snake Eyes. He won his 100th local race in June 2003; 200th in June 2006; 300th in July 2008; 400th in May 2011; and 500th in May 2014; 600th in May 2017; and 700th in June 2019.

Among Asmussen’s 800 Churchill Downs wins are 83 local stakes triumphs, including two victories in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI): Summerly in 2005 and Untapable in 2014. He also won 2008 Stephen Foster (GI) with Curlin and the 2016 Clark Handicap presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) and 2017 Stephen Foster (GI) with Gun Runner.

His longtime Churchill Downs assistant is Scott Blasi.

Overall, Asmussen, 55, has won 9,503 races and his horses have amassed $368.2 million from 46,252 starts during a 35-year training career that began at New Mexico’s Ruidoso Downs in 1986. The two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer (2008-09) was enshrined in horse racing’s Hall of Fame in 2016.

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