Leading Trainer

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Eclipse Award Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Eclipse Award Trainer: Steve Asmussen

A single-season record of 622 victories might have been all Steve Asmussen needed to win the Eclipse Award for leading trainer of 2008. However, being trainer of Curlin probably didn't hurt either.

Commentary: More than All Right

By - David Mullins - The word "legend" is used frequently these days to describe people. Some might say the term is overused. But when one calls Dale Baird a legend, the term is apt and fitting.

Graded Stakes Winners Cap Frankel's Banner Year

Trainer Bopbby Frankel had a year in which his earnings of $14,987,446 took second billing to his remarkable string of graded stakes victories. It was impressive enough that he saddled 13 horses to win 18 grade I stakes, but what was really remarkable was that 16 of those grade I stakes came in the last six months of the year--three each in July, August, September, and October, and two each in November and December.

Once Again, Baffert Top Trainer by Earnings

How does a trainer go about snatching away the money title from someone who captured 48 stakes, 36 graded stakes, 18 grade I stakes, and earned a whopping $14,715,944? For Bob Baffert, who somehow managed to stay one step ahead of Bobby Frankel all year, all he had to do was win a $6-million stakes in Dubai in March, then unleash a powerhouse of a colt to become the first horse in history to capture four consecutive $1-million stakes.

Leading Trainer of 2000: Baffert's Three-Peat

What a downer. He didn't saddle a winner of a Triple Crown race, and for the second year in a row he failed to find the winner's circle on Breeders' Cup Day. His total grade I win count for the year fell from a whopping 20 a year ago to a mere six in 2000. Prior to the Breeders' Cup, he was lambasted in the Louisville and Lexington newspapers as having a "wretched" year. One would think trainer Bob Baffert had fallen from his perch as top trainer. However, just the opposite was true, as his stable remained powerful enough, and deep enough, to lead all trainers in North America by money won for the third year in a row.

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