Trainer Watch: Asmussen on a hot streak at Belmont Park

Profile Picture: James Scully

June 15th, 2021

  • Video race replay order:
    • Belmont - Velvet Sister
    • Belmont - Jalen Journey
    • Belmont - Chris and Dave

Steve Asmussen has finished either first or second nationally by wins the last five years. He ranks second all-time with 9,381 victories, and the Hall of Fame trainer will likely surpass Dale Baird (9,445 wins) before the end of the summer.

His stable has a wide reach.

Over the last three weeks, Asmussen has raced horses at Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, Evangeline Downs, Indiana Grand, Lone Star Park, Louisiana Downs, Monmouth Park, and Prairie Meadows.

Currently the leading trainer at Lone Star, Asmussen also ranks near the top in the Churchill Downs and Louisiana Downs standings. He doesn’t have a large contingent at Belmont, but his barn has been on a tear in New York in recent weeks.

Since May 31 (nine racing days), Asmussen has won five of nine starts at Belmont. He’s jumped to ninth in the standings due to the recent surge, and Asmussen’s 42% win rate (8-for-19) easily tops all trainers with at least seven starts this meet.

The two-time Eclipse Award-winning conditioner won three of four starts at Belmont last week.

Jalen Journey was the only favorite among the winning trio, capturing a conditioned allowance/optional claimer as the 8-5 choice last Thursday.

Earlier on the Thursday program, Asmussen debuted the exciting two-year-old Velvet Sister, who rolled to a 9 3/4-length decision. Stonestreet owns the Bernardini filly, a $500,000 two-year-old purchase, and the New York-bred will be targeting Saratoga juvenile stakes.

Chris and Dave capped the fine week with a victory over $50,000 claiming rivals on Sunday.

Asmussen is eligible to carry his momentum forward to the Saratoga, which opens July 15. The Spa has become more of a focus for his stable, and he finished third during the 2019 Saratoga meet, winning 15 races.