Steve Asmussen

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Wiggins to Retire After Churchill Meet

Wiggins to Retire After Churchill Meet

After training horses for more three decades and having his career peak this year with the success of the sensational filly Rachel Alexandra, Hal Wiggins will ride off into the sunset of retirement at the end of Churchill Downs' fall meet in November.

'Earnest' Discussions on Rachel's Next Start

'Earnest' Discussions on Rachel's Next Start

Rachel Alexandra breezed five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.37 on a foggy Monday morning on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Race Course, after which trainer Steve Asmussen said discussions would begin "in earnest" on where the filly would make her next start.

Asmussen, Albarado Star at Charles Town

With his superstar Rachel Alexandra waiting to make her next start, another 3-year-old filly punctuated a big night for trainer Steve Asmussen when Four Gifts took the $250,000 Charles Town Oaks by a half-length over Royal Card. Four Gifts' win provided Asmussen and jockey Robby Albarado their third stakes win on Charles Town Races & Slots inaugural Race for the Ribbon night Aug. 15.

Summer Bird Gallops; 'Rachel' in Great Shape

Summer Bird Gallops; 'Rachel' in Great Shape

Looking ahead to a possible start on the grass in the fall, trainer Tim Ice had Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Summer Bird galloped the morning of Aug. 12 over the Oklahoma turf course as part of his preparations for the $1 million Shadwell Travers (gr. I) Aug. 29 at Saratoga Race Course.

Countdown to the Cup: Three, two, one...Phht

Countdown to the Cup: Three, two, one...Phht

A story about Rachel Alexandra seems out of place in a column about the Breeders' Cup, but who cares. That's between Jess Jackson and the Breeders' Cup decision makers. Even though there will be no launching of the Rachel rocket on Nov. 7, it's still fun to "count down" to the imaginary blast off.

'Rachel' Faces Only Four in Mother Goose

'Rachel' Faces Only Four in Mother Goose

Rachel Alexandra, who when last seen was making history by winning the May 16 BlackBerry Preakness (gr. I), will make her return to the racetrack in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) June 27 at Belmont Park. The Horse of the Year candidate will face only four rivals in the nine-furlong test for 3-year-old fillies.

Rachelmania: Free Admission, Pink Bracelets

Rachelmania: Free Admission, Pink Bracelets

When Rachel Alexandra makes her Belmont Park debut in the 53rd renewal of the $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) June 27, the New York Racing Association will give away pink bracelets embossed with the filly's name and admission for ladies will be free.

Hightap Convincing Dogwood Winner

Hightap Convincing Dogwood Winner

Winchell Thoroughbreds and Gainesway Thoroughbreds' Hightap ran right by odds-on favorite Luster in upper stretch and sprinted her way to a 3 1/4-length victory in the $111,500 Dogwood (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs May 30.

Heart Ashley Holds On For Miss Preakness Win

Heart Ashley Holds On For Miss Preakness Win

Heart Ashley opened up on the turn for home, looked like she would coast to an easy win, and then had to hold off the late charge of Cinderella's Wish to win the $100,000 Adena Stallions Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III) by a head May 15 at Pimlico Race Course.

Travel Plans Set For Rachel Alexandra

Travel Plans Set For Rachel Alexandra

The prospective field for the May 16 Preakness (gr. I) received a boost in star power when assistant trainer Scott Blasi informed Maryland Jockey Club director of horsemen's relations Phoebe Hayes that Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra is scheduled to fly to Baltimore May 13 for the May 16 $1 million classic. A decision on whether she actually gets on the plane will not be made until the filly works.

Preakness Notes - May 8

Preakness Notes - May 8

A decision as to whether Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra will be supplemented into the field for the $1 million Preakness (gr. I) could be made May 10 or 11 after the filly works for her new trainer, Steve Asmussen.

Average Holds Steady at F-T Texas Sale

Average Holds Steady at F-T Texas Sale

The performance of the Fasig-Tipton Texas sale of 2-year-olds in training March 31 exceeded expectations when the average price held steady amidst tumbling figures at juvenile auctions across the country. The sale was held at Lone Star Park.

Team Curlin Garners Top NYTWA Honors

Two-time Eclipse Horse of the Year Curlin and his connections have swept the top awards for 2008, as voted by the members of the New York Turf Writers Association. All of the 2008 award winners will be honored at the 86th annual NYTWA Awards Dinner at the Saratoga National Golf Club Aug. 24.

Many Questions to Be Answered in Gotham

Many Questions to Be Answered in Gotham

On paper, the $250,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) has turned out to be one of the most intriguing and highly-anticipated prep races of the season, as a number of promising 3-year-olds will attempt to answer questions about their ability to go on to the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I), and possibly the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Back Class, Pace Figure in FG 'Cap

Back Class, Pace Figure in FG 'Cap

The field that has passed the entry box for the Feb. 7 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) makes for an intriguing handicapping puzzle. The cast, which is about evenly split with horses making their first start off a layoff and those with some recent Fair Grounds experience, is long on back class, but a bit light on early pace.

Haynesfield Scores in Count Fleet

Haynesfield Scores in Count Fleet

Haynesfield picked up his third consecutive victory Jan. 3, warding off a stiff mid-stretch challenge from Mike From Queens and drawing off to a 3 1/2-length victory in the 34th running of the $69.700 Count Fleet Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile and 70 yards on Aqueduct's fast inner dirt track.

Leading Owner Title Still Up in the Air

Leading Owner Title Still Up in the Air

With less than two weeks remaining in the Thoroughbred racing season, nearly all of the 2008 leaders have been decided. The lone category without a clear-cut winner is earnings by owner, and it might take until the final few days of the year to determine a victor.

Trinity Magic's Earnings to Aid Charity

Trinity Magic's Earnings to Aid Charity

The owners of undefeated Trinity Magic have pledged a portion of the winning purse to the Blessed Trinity Church if the colt wins the $750,000 Delta Jackpot Stakes (gr. III) Dec. 5.

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