|Asmussen, Martin, Kagele Brothers, Yessirgeneralsir
Wrap Up Titles at LSP Meet
the nation's leading trainer, collected his sixth training title of the
year with 82 wins at Lone Star Park's eighth annual Spring Thoroughbred
Season which concluded Sunday - 23 more than defending training champ
Cole Norman. It was the fifth local title for the 38-year-old Arlington,
Texas resident. This year, he's also won titles at Fair Grounds, Sunland
Park, Sam Houston, Keeneland and Churchill Downs.
"[Assistant] Darren Fleming made a big difference for us this year,"
Asmussen said. "He's outstanding help. He and Tony Mathiasen did
a great job here and with our barn. With the numbers we have nationally,
I depend on them greatly and it's obvious what a good job they've done,
especially with the babies."
Asmussen, who won four straight Lone Star titles from 1999-2002, won
with 22 of 61 two-year-olds at the meet - a 36% win clip. Asmussen also
led the training colony in money-won for the sixth time as his horses
earned $1,859,727. He won a record nine stakes races - including a record
four on Memorial Day - at the meet, which eclipsed his 1999 single-season
record of eight.
On July 3, he became the first horseman to win 500 career races at Lone
Star. In addition to being the track win leader 509 victories, Asmussen
holds track records for career stakes victories (38), career earnings
($12.1 million), single season earnings ($2.2 million in 2001), single
day stakes wins (four on May 31) and single day wins (seven on July 14,
Asmussen will remain stabled at Lone Star Park through October. For the
first time, Lone Star Park's racetrack and barn area will remain open
after the Spring Thoroughbred Season, and as many as 500 horses are expected
to train here this summer.
"We're going to work a bunch," Asmussen said. "We'll have
50, maybe more than that. I'm extremely pleased with how things are going
here right now, help-wise and horse-wise, and I'd rather keep them doing
this well and ship from here, as opposed to spreading them around."
With 313 wins on the year through Sunday, Asmussen is on pace for 592
victories this year which would easily smash Jack Van Berg's 1976 record
of 496 wins in a year.
"I'm aiming for it and I've been aiming for it since the beginning
of the year," Asmussen said. "I'm just so worried about the
natural drop off I have once Churchill's over and Lone Star's over. I
just don't win as many races; I don't have as many opportunities so I'll
be pretty nervous about it. We've got to do it. When you're in this position,
you've got to finish it off."
In the race to be leading jockey, Eddie Martin Jr. kicked
clear of Cliff Berry late to win his first local riding championship,
87 wins to 78. Martin also led all jockeys in money-won with $1,684,025
and stakes victories with six. Amanda Crandall, 21, was the top apprentice,
or rookie, with 27 wins.
Kagele Brothers Inc., who campaign top older horse
Southern Image and stakes-winning sprinter Pohave, won their first owner's
title with a track record 27 at the meet, nine more than Gary Owens, another
newcomer to the meet this season. Tom Durant, a two-time win-leader, led
all owners in money-won for the first time with $345,840.
Yessirgeneralsir Voted Horse of the Meet
Lone Star Park Handicap winner Yessirgeneralsir was voted the 2004 Horse
of the Meeting at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. The 4-year-old
gelding also took home championships as top older horse and Texas-bred.
Other champions named Sunday: Academic Angel, Champion Older Female;
Maysville Slew, Champion Turf Horse; Beau's Town and Savorthetime, Co-Champion
Sprinters; No Place Like It, Champion 3-Year-Old Male; America America,
Champion 3-Year-Old Female; Expect Will, Champion 2-Year-Old Male; Berdelia,
Champion 2-Year-Old Female; Fleeta Dif, Champion Texas-bred Female; Late
Expectations, Champion Claiming Horse; and The Niner Account, Award of
Seasonal champions are determined by a poll of selected media and track
officials. Winners were honored in winner's circle presentations between
races Sunday, the final day of live racing for the 2004 Spring Thoroughbred
Yessirgeneralsir (Horse of the Meeting, Champion Older
Male, Champion Texas-bred) was a runaway winner of the Grade III Lone
Star Park Handicap on Memorial Day, leading from gate to wire for a 2
¼-length score in the prestigious 1 1/16-mile event for older horses.
Owner Jim Jackson's homebred, trained by Dallas Keen and ridden in two
local starts by Southern California-based jockey Omar Figueroa, earned
the first stakes win of his career in the Lone Star Park 'Cap. The Texas-bred
son of Patton, a 4-year-old gelding, is pointing to the October 30 Breeders'
Cup Classic at Lone Star Park.
Academic Angel (Champion Older Female) upset perhaps
the deepest field of older females ever assembled in Grand Prairie when
she closed with a rush under Shane Sellers to take the Grade III WinStar
Distaff over the Lone Star Park turf course. The WinStar was the 5-year-old
mare's only start of the meeting for owner Cash Asmussen and trainer Steve
Maysville Slew (Champion Turf Horse), an 8-year-old
gelding with 64 starts, became a millionaire with his upset win in the
season's premier grass event, the Dallas Turf Cup. It was the old veteran's
10th stakes victory for owner and trainer C.R. Trout.
Beau's Town and Savorthetime (Co-Champion
Sprinters) each set new track records at six furlongs in their respective
stakes wins. Six-year-old gelding Beau's Town, the 2002 Lone Star Park
Champion Sprinter owned by David Hulkewicz and trained by Cole Norman,
won the Ford Express by 1 ¼ lengths in 1:07.89. Three weeks later,
5-year-old mare Savorthetime, also an impressive allowance winner this
season for owners Brenda and Philip Robertson and trainer Asmussen, won
the Valid Expectations by four lengths in 1:07.82.
No Place Like It (Champion 3-Year-Old Male) tallied
three consecutive impressive wins on the turf this season - an opening
night maiden, an entry-level allowance and the rich USA Stakes. The son
of Real Quiet is managed by owner Tom Durant and his private trainer,
America America (Champion 3-Year-Old Female), the iron
filly with 23 stakes appearances in four countries, appropriately won
the Lone Star Oaks on Independence Day. The daughter of Mister Baileys
pulled herself to the front early in the 1 1/16-mile turf event and held
on to earn her second stakes win in Texas for owner/trainer Frank Mourier,
who shipped his one-horse stable from Keeneland for the race.
Expect Will (Champion 2-Year-Old Male) swept both of
the meeting's stakes for 2-year-old males - the Texas Thoroughbred Association
Sales Futurity and the Texas Stallion Stakes. The son of Valid Expectations,
owned by Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, gave Asmussen a clean sweep of the
meeting's juvenile stakes with his closing day triumph.
Berdelia (Champion 2-Year-Old Female) won both of the
meeting's juvenile filly stakes - the TTA Sales Futurity and the Texas
Stallion Stakes. The stretch-running daughter of Wild Zone is trained
by Asmussen for Ro Parra.
Fleeta Dif (Champion Texas-bred Female) was a two-time
stakes winner this season, taking the JEH Stallion Station at 17-1 against
fellow Texas-breds and the Miller Lite at 8-1 versus open company. The
5-year-old mare, a unanimous selection in her category, was bred by her
trainer Tom Warren, who co-owns the daughter of Hadif with his wife Patricia
Late Expectations (Champion Claiming Horse) earned
his third win of the meeting Saturday in a second-level allowance against
open company, a long way up the class ladder from the $10,000 claiming
event he was taken out of opening weekend. The 3-year-old gelding made
11 starts during the 13-week season, including four tries between June
27 and July 10, compiling a record of 11-3-1-4. The Ricardo Morales trainee,
owned by Peruvian Glass & More Inc., also finished third at 44-1 in
the Harold V. Goodman Memorial Stakes.
The Niner Account (Award of Distinction) was recognized
for a remarkable season with three wins and two seconds from five starts.
The 6-year-old gelding already has six wins overall this year, earning
him a tie for the national lead. The Martin Lozano trainee, owned by Gary
Owens, hasn't finished out of the money in 18 starts since his first out
and has 13 wins in that stretch.