Asmussen, Martin, Kagele Brothers, Yessirgeneralsir Wrap Up Titles at LSP Meet

Steve Asmussen, 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, 2002).

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 Distinction.

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 Season.

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 Asmussen.

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, Jack Bruner.

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 Warren.

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.

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