Jockey Aaron Gryder will be moving his tack to Lone Star Park for the remainder of the 2010 spring Thoroughbred meet starting on the night of April 22.
The Southern California native, who will turn 40 on June 5, has been named to ride two horses that night and three the following evening for Lone Star Park’s all-time leading trainer, Steve Asmussen.
“Steve Asmussen and winning,” was the simple response from Gryder when asked why he is coming to ride at Lone Star Park. “There’s no substitute for winning.”
“I look at it as an opportunity, since he just came back from Hong Kong,” said Asmussen, who said that Gryder will ride first call for him.
The Gryder-Asmussen combination has had success in the past when Gryder was the leading rider for consecutive years in 1994 and 1995 at Arlington Park.
“We were very successful at Arlington Park,” Gryder said. “I rode for Steve quite a bit and he was a big part of my success there. We get along very well and have mutual respect for each other’s horsemanship.”
With more than 3,000 career wins and $100 million in lifetime earnings, Gryder has won riding titles at four different North American racetracks. Besides his two titles at Arlington Park, he also won at Hollywood Park (1987), Aqueduct (1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-01 winter, and 2000 spring), and the 1990 Churchill Downs spring meet. He also won the world’s richest race, the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), in 2009 aboard Well Armed.
Last November, following the Dubai World Cup, Gryder decided to take up an invitation to ride in Hong Kong.
“The Dubai World Cup was great international exposure and I was invited to ride in Hong Kong,” recalled Gryder. “It was an opportunity that I wanted to take advantage of. It was different and took time to get used to, but it was a great experience and I enjoyed my stay."
Following that trip abroad, he returned to riding at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas where he won nine races, with nine seconds and two thirds from 43 mounts for a 21 % winning percentage.
Gryder has nine lifetime starts at Lone Star Park, including five stakes races. His best finish was a second in the Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III) aboard Texcess in 2006.