Search the NTRA.com biography database for complete bio listings:
NOTE: Stats include North American and selected international races. Click here to view selected international race list.
Stats Updated Through: 3/4/2010
|Win % (In-The-Money %)|
Top Associated Horses:
Hear No Angel,
Biography, Highlights and Media:
- Born: Nov. 18, 1965, Gettysburg, S.D.
- Residence: Arlington, Texas
- Family: wife, Julie; sons, Keith James, Darren Scott and Eric Mark.
- One of three trainers in 2011 to win two Breeders’ Cup events and both came from favorites in dominating fashion. Regally Ready scored a 1-1/2-length win in the Turf Sprint and My Miss Aurelia powered to a three-length romp in the Juvenile Fillies en route to an Eclipse Award as the nation’s top 2-year-old female.
- Previously had his best year in the Breeders’ Cup in 2007 when Curlin won the Classic en route to the first of two Horse of the Year honors and he finished two, three in the Juvenile with Pyro and Kodiak Kowboy, respectively ... His only other "on the board" finish among 17 starters was Storm Treasure, third in the 2008 Turf Sprint.
- Top 3-year-olds in 2012 include still undefeated My Miss Aurelia, 2-for-2 in 2012 and winner of the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (G1) in her last effort; Daddy Nose Best, winner of the El Camino Real Derby (G3) and Sunland Derby (G3) before runs in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness; Macho Macho, winner of the West Virginia Derby (G2) before finishing second in the Pennsylvania Derby (G2); and Unbridled’s Note, who won the Eddie D. Stakes (G3) in his grass debut in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint … Top older horses include Dust and Diamonds, winner of three straight since March including Belmont Park’s Gallant Bloom (G2), which earned her a guaranteed spot in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, and Tapizar, fifth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and two-time stakes winner in 2012.
- Led nation in wins for the sixth time with stable’s 348 victories in 2011 while earnings of $16,288,735 were second. Also leading trainer by wins in 2010, 2007, 2005, 2004 and 2002.
- Win by Basalt at Remington Park on Nov. 18, 2011 gave Asmussen his 6,000th career victory (the fifth trainer to do so) and a 46th birthday present ... Reached the 5,000 win milestone on Sept. 11, 2009 ... Reached his 4,000th win on Feb. 17, 2008 after saddling J J's Bud at Oaklawn Park.
- Suffered a major loss in 2011 with the death of one of his leading clients Jess Jackson on April 21 ... Trained three consecutive Horse of the Years for Jackson's Stonestreet Stable – Curlin (2007 and 2008) and Rachel Alexandra (2009) ... Jackson's wife, Barbara Banke, is keeping the racing operation going ... Among their best horses in 2011 were Astrology, third in the Preakness Stakes (G1), and My Miss Aurelia ... Both are owned in partnership with George Bolton.
- Other top runners in 2011 include Wilburn, She Digs Me, Wine Police, Kensei, Justin Phillip, Thiskyhasnolimit and It Happened Again ... Kensei, the 2009 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) winner and 2011 Salvator Mile (G3), had to be euthanized while training at Belmont in late August.
- Rachel Alexandra had a perfect 8-0 season in 2009 as a 3-year-old, including historic triumphs over males in the Preakness Stakes, Haskell Invitational (G1) and older males in the Woodward Stakes (G1) ... She was purchased privately by Jackson after her 20-length win in the Kentucky Oaks ... At four, she won the Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) at Churchill and the Lady Secret at Monmouth before before retired on Sept. 28, 2010.
- Rachel Alexandra was initially bred to Curlin and delivered her first foal Jan. 22, 2012 ... She was bred back to Bernardini ... Banke announced the colt’s name, Jess’s Dream, on July 27 following a naming contest that drew more than 6,500 submissions.
- Earned his second straight Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer in 2009, after breaking his own single-season record with 650 wins from 2,944 starters, and earning $21,876,405 in purses ... In addition to Rachel Alexandra, also trained 2009 Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Kodiak Kowboy.
- Previous record of 622 wins came in 2008, when he won his first Eclipse Award after being a finalist in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
- Trained Curlin to back-to-back Horse of the Year crowns in 2007 and 2008 ... Curlin followed his outstanding 2007 campaign that included the Preakness and Breeders’ Cup Classic with triumphs in the 2008 Dubai World Cup (G1), Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). The win in the Gold Cup pushed the Smart Strike horse past the $10 million mark, making him the richest American-based horse of all-time … Curlin retired to Lane’s End Farm near Lexington, Ky. following a fourth-place finish in the ’08 Classic.
- Learned the business from his parents, Keith and Marilyn, both trainers. He helped his parents walk horses and muck stalls by the time he was five and lost part of his thumb in a childhood accident while holding a horse through a chain link fence … He took out his jockey's license at age 16. Rode for three years in New Mexico, California and New York before retiring because of weight ... His brother, Cash, was the Eclipse Award apprentice jockey champion in 1979 before becoming a champion jockey in Europe ... The Asmussen family operates El Primero Training Center in Laredo, Texas.
- Began training Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses in New Mexico in 1986 … First major Thoroughbred was Valid Expectations, a winner of seven stakes races from 1995-97 … First Grade 1 win was in 1999 with Dreams Galore in the Mother Goose at Belmont Park … First classic win was with Summerly in the the 2005 Kentucky Oaks.
- His many stakes winners include multiple grade 1 winner Lady Tak, 2008 Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Pyro, Kentucky Cup Classic (G2) winner Zanjero, graded-stakes-winning sprinter J Be K, Appealing Zophie, Cuvee, Real Dandy, He's Got Grit, Quintons Gold Rush, Private Emblem, Effectual, Lunarpal, Bwana Charlie, Chace City, Private Vow, and Z Fortune.
- Currently has about 200 horses with divisions in New York, Chicago, Kentucky, Texas and Louisiana … Main assistant is Scott Blasi.
Breeders' Cup Record
| ||Ladies' Classic||Lady Tak||7th|
| ||Juvenile||Kodiak Kowboy||3rd|
| ||Classic||Student Council||11th|
| ||Dirt Mile||Pyro||6th|
| ||Turf Sprint||Storm Treasure||3rd|
|2009||Juvenile Fillies Turf||Jungle Tale||5th|
| ||Dirt Mile||Thiskyhasnolimit||7th|
| ||Sprint||Riley Tucker||9th|
| ||Dirt Mile||Wilburn ||7th|
| ||Juvenile Fillies||My Miss Aurelia ||1st|
| ||Juvenile Turf||Daddy Nose Best||6th|
| ||Turf Sprint||Regally Ready||1st|
Biographies on jockeys, trainers and owners are from the Breeders' Cup World Championships events from 2001 through 2009, and are intended as informational resources. Biographies will be updated if an individual is again a participant in the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Biographies are available for most horses appearing in the top 100 money earnings list, and/or for those who are frequently making headlines in the news starting with the 2006 Triple Crown season.