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Asmussen Moves Into Second All-Time Among Trainers

  • Assistant trainer Hank Gensler accepted congratulations on behalf of Asmussen, who was not in attendance. Hodges Photography

By Graham Ross, Staff Writer

NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, March 28, 2013) – In Thursday’s fourth race at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, when Jake Jourdan romped home 5 1/2-lengths in front of his nearest rival, trainer Steve Asmussenmoved into second-place among the world’s all-time leading conditioners with the 6,418th victory of his career to surpass Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg.

“It feels very good,” Asmussen said by phone. “It’s obviously very significant and it proves we’ve been doing it a while, if nothing else. We’ll hope for a bunch more winners. Racing’s kind of a funny game, you know, and everything will be alright as long as the next one wins.”

The 47-year-old Asmussen, an 11-time Fair Grounds trainer champion and current leading trainer, had won Oaklawn’s third race with Cabe six minutes earlier to tie Van Berg for the runner-up spot.Asmussenis also the owner of both Jake Jourdan and Cabe.

The late West Virginia-based trainer Dale Baird,killed in a car crash in 2007 at age 72, remains the world’s all-time leading conditioner with 9,445 winners over a 46-year career.

Asked how one manages to amass so many wins at a relatively young age, Asmussen laughed and said, “You just keep at it, I guess.”

Racing resumes Friday at Fair Grounds with a 10-race program beginning at 1 p.m., third to last day of the 2012-2013 Crescent City racing season before the local oval brings down the curtain on the current session Sunday.