A new Asmussen rides into town – and it’s a dream come true
USA: Steve Asmussen has trained nearly 9,000 winners of over $300 million in prize-money but on Sunday a $40,000 maiden special weight at Lone Star Park produced “the greatest win we’ve ever had”.
The Hall of Fame trainer and wife Julie were on hand to witness a proud family moment when their son Keith rode his first winner as a jockey at the track in Grand Prairie, part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolis in Texas.
One of three rides on the card for the 22-year-old Asmussen jnr, he kept his parents waiting until his final mount when Inis Gulaire held on by a head, sparking screams and cheers from the stands.
Keith Asmussen, a full-time accounting student at the University of Texas, is the latest in a long line of Asmussens to take to the saddle.
His father rode for three years, as did his grandfather, also named Keith. His uncle, Cash, became an Eclipse Award-winning apprentice and five-time champion jockey in France and rode over 3,000 winners.
The beaming rider said: “It’s a dream come true. You know Lone Star has been open for 24 years and I’m 22. My earliest memories are of coming here, so to get a win here is just surreal.”
He was then scooped up by fellow riders and marched to the paddock to be dipped in the fountain, a tradition which follows a jockey’s first win at Lone Star.
Inis Gulaire was the 211th winner of the year for Steve Asmussen. “You know the amazing horses we’ve had and how blessed we’ve been, this is the greatest win we’ve ever had,” he said.