Steve Asmussen comes from a racing family with every member of his immediate family being involved in racing in some capacity. He started off as a jockey but struggled to make the rigid weight restrictions and transitioned to the conditioning side of things.
Although his training career began in 1986 Asmussen wouldn’t earn his first grade 1 victory until 1999. Despite taking his time to win the first grade 1 he has since made up for lost time winning double digit graded stakes races in 10 of the last 12 years.
Among his most famous horses was the talented race mare Rachel Alexandra who won the Preakness, Haskell, and Woodward in 2009 all over male horses under Asmussen’s care.
Asmussen has been a win machine in his career earning the most wins in North America in 9 different years. He currently holds the record for most wins in a single year with 650 wins in 2009.
However, despite winning multiple grade 1 races including the Preakness twice and the Belmont once, he has never been able to win the Kentucky Derby. In fact he holds the dubious distinction of being the trainer who has started the most horses in the race without a win. His horses have finished second twice.
Asmussen won the Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer in 2008 and 2009.
Top Riders: Ricardo Jr Santana, Stewart Elliott, Luis Contreras, Shaun Bridgmohan, Ramon Vazquez
Top 5 Career Horses in Earnings: Gun Runner, Curlin, Midnight Bisou, Untapable, Mitole