In August, Steve Asmussen took the mantle as North America’s winningest career trainer. On Thanksgiving Day, he went from macro record-setter to micro record-setter, winning what is believed to be a record five races on one card at Churchill Downs.
Churchill Downs officials said records prior to 1991 are incomplete, but the track does know nobody has won more than four races in a day since then. That feat was accomplished eight times, with Asmussen accounting for five of the eight (2004, twice in 2007, 2019, 2020). Todd Pletcher (2006), Kenny McPeek (2008), and Mike Maker (2013) own the other three.
The 56-year-old Asmussen collected his five Thanksgiving victories with Generator in the third race ($5.60), Front Street in the fourth ($2.80), Regal Retort in the sixth ($6.60), Treaty of Paris in the eighth ($21), and All in Sync in the ninth ($5.80). Win No. 6 was there for him in the 10th race, but 2/1 favorite Dr. Jack finished sixth.
That Asmussen would add this record to his resume is apt. He’s claimed a record 24 Churchill Downs training titles and is well on his way to No. 25. He leads the current fall meet – which ends Sunday – with 18 wins.
Asmussen poised for post-Thanksgiving feast
On Friday, Asmussen has four horses entered, including 8/5 second-favorite Midnight Bourbon in the Grade 1 Clark.
In October, Asmussen became the first trainer to win 800 races at Churchill Downs. Among his 819 wins under the Twin Spires are 83 stakes races, including two Kentucky Oaks titles, two Stephen Fosters, and a Clark Handicap.
The trainer currently sits at 9,557 career victories. He collected his record-breaking 9,446th win on Aug. 7 on the Whitney Day undercard at Saratoga with Stellar Tap.