On the record: Steve Asmussen, Galileo, Jose Ortiz and more …

• The week’s significant milestones

Horse Racing Steve Asmussen
Steve Asmussen: broke all-time record for victories at Churchill Downs. Photo: Coady

738 Steve Asmussen

USA: Steve Asmussen surpassed Dale Romans’s all-time record mark for victories at Churchill Downs when four-year-old filly Drop Dead Gorgeous cruised to a 8½-length victory in the opener on Friday’s card [June 12].

The victory was the dual Eclipse Award-winning trainer’s 738th beneath the historic Twin Spires – and number 739 came in the very next race when Hulen took a maiden. Ricardo Santana rode both.

According to Equibase figures, Asmussen’s career total in North America stands at 8,872 (through Sunday), which puts him second on the all-time list behind the late Dale Baird on 9,445.

However, there was an unexpected postscript to his landmark achievement at Churchill Downs when Louisville native Romans also saddled a winner on Friday’s card – and then added two more on Sunday to take back the overall lead 740 wins to 739!


85 Galileo

Ireland: Coolmore’s legendary stallion Galileo established a new world record mark of 85 individual G1 winners when Peaceful claimed the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Saturday [June 13].

Champion sire in Britain and Ireland in 11 of the last 12 years, the son of Sadler’s Wells was finally surpassing the 84-winner mark achieved by his former studmate Danehill. Dual Derby winner Galileo had been marooned on 84 since Magic Wand landed the Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington in November.

Horse Racing Galileo stallion
Galileo: Peaceful was supersire’s 85th individual G1 winner. Photo: Coolmore

2,000 Jose Ortiz

USA: When he partnered Creed to win the fourth race at Belmont Park on Thursday [June 11], jockey Jose Ortiz registered his 2,000th career victory in North America.

The 26-year-old’s career figure includes 17 wins from his native Puerto Rico; he won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 2017. His brother Irad reached the 2,000 mark in 2018.

Horse Racing Jose Ortiz jockey
Jose Ortiz: career milestone at Belmont Park. Photo: NYRA/Coglianese

108 Gordon Lord Byron

Ireland: Popular Irish stalwart Gordon Lord Byron collapsed and died during a piece of routine work last week. He ran 108 times for 16 victories, among them G1 wins in three different countries on two continents, including a memorable success in the George Ryder Stakes at Randwick in Sydney.

“Anyone in racing would dream of having a horse like him,” said trainer Tom Hogan, speaking to the Racing Post.


1,000 David Probert

GB: Former champion apprentice David Probert landed the 1,000th success of his career on Monday [June 8] aboard the Alan King-trained Tronada in an all-weather handicap at Lingfield. A graduate of Andrew Balding’s Kingsclere academy, Probert, 30, shared the apprentice title with William Buick in 2008.

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