Asmussen Breaks Own North American Win Record

Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen, who bases his extensive operation at Fair Grounds throughout the New Orleans winter Thoroughbred racing season, broke his own record for number of North American wins in a single calendar year when Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Poppin won the 13th race at Canada’s Woodbine Race Course Sunday evening to give Asmussen his 623rd winner in 2009.

Fittingly, owners Ludolph and Corrine Heiligbrodt of Heiligbrodt Racing were Fair Grounds’ leading owners last season.

Ridden by Chantel Sutherland, Poppin circled the leaders when set down for the drive and tallied by three-quarters of a length at 5:59 p.m. CST to break the record Asmussen established a year ago.

Asmussen will be at Fair Grounds Monday to saddle Heiligbrodt Racing’s Tortuga Town in the sixth race of the day and Robert Zollars’ Money Sweet Money in the ninth.

Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan Settles in at Fair Grounds
Veteran jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, who hangs his tack at Fair Grounds during the winter months as the primary rider for trainer Steve Asmussen, wasted little time establishing his presence in New Orleans this month – recording a riding triple Saturday locally following the close of the Churchill Downs fall meeting one week earlier.

“Saturday came together very well for me,” said Bridgmohan during training hours Monday morning. “I rode three winners here (including the featured Pago Hop Stakes aboard Oak Bluff Stables’ Akilina) and then flew to Houston where I won another two Saturday night. By the time we got back to New Orleans, it was 2:30 in the morning (Sunday) but I was still able to work one horse during training hours. All in all, it was a very good day.

“Also, I had a really productive meeting in Louisville last month,” said Bridgmohan, who finished third in the standings at Churchill’s fall session behind the tied co-leaders Calvin Borel and Julien Leparoux, “and I won the (Grade III) Iroquois Stakes there with that good 2-year-old Thiskyhasnolimit.

“And I’m looking forward to having the mount aboard (Vinery Stable and Fox Hill Farm’s Louisiana Derby winner) Friesan Fire this winter,” added Bridgmohan.  “He got a little tired the other day, but he needed the race. He’ll be fine.”

Bridgmohan, born on the island of Jamaica but raised in South Florida, won the riding title at Chicago’s Arlington Park in 2005 and also captured a fall meeting title at Churchill three years ago, but has never won a jockey championship at Fair Grounds. Was that a possibility during this 2009-2010 Fair Grounds Thoroughbred Racing Season Presented by Miller Lite?

“Basically, when Steve has a good season, I have a good season,” Bridgmohan concluded of Asmussen, who has won eight training titles at Fair Grounds to date at the Crescent City oval.

Doubles, Doubles Everywhere Saturday at Fair Grounds
In addition to Shaun Bridgmohan’s riding triple Saturday at Fair Grounds, jockeys Trey Agilar and Corey Lanerie had two wins for the day, as did trainers Steve Asmussen and Cody Autrey