Steve Asmussen

'Rising Star' Stellar Tap Returns in Iroquois

L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds' Stellar Tap (Tapit) wowed spectators with a TDN Rising Star-worthy performance at Saratoga Aug. 7 and will try to prove that it wasn't a fluke in Saturday's GIII Iroquois S. at Churchill Downs. Out of a half-sister to GISW Nereid (Rock Hard Ten), the $250,000 KEESEP graduate showed early speed for trainer Steve Asmussen navigating seven furlongs in his debut and turned on all boosters late, drawing away to score by 5 1/4 lengths over Keepcalmcarryon (Union Rags), who won at that venue...

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GISW Basin Retired to Spendthrift

GISW Basin (Liam's Map-Appenzell, by Johannesburg) has been retired from racing and will stand at Spendthrift Farm in 2022. Standing for a fee of $7,500 S&N, the 4-year-old will participate in the farm's "Share The Upside" program. "We are excited to add Basin to the Spendthrift stallion ranks and to be able to offer breeders a horse of his caliber through our Share The Upside program," said Ned Toffey, Spendthrift General Manager. "We pride ourselves on being able to offer quality at all levels, and we believe there's a lot...

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Sept. 17 Insights: Half to Princess Noor Debuts in Intriguing Belmont Sprint

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 6th-BEL, $90k, Msw, 2yo, 6 1/2f, 3:38 p.m. ET Seven horses make their career debut in this potential-laden nine-horse field, headed by PROTONIC POWER (Protonico), part of an uncoupled entry for the Todd Pletcher barn. Owned by Sumaya US Stable, who campaigned his sire, the colt is out of Grade III winner Sheza Smoke Show (Wilko), making him a half to 2020 OBS April topper and subsequent Grade I winner Princess Noor (Not This Time). The bay stayed home at Belmont for the summer and...

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Siblings to New Juvenile GI Winners Highlight KEESEP

Three yearlings in the Keeneland September Sale catalogue received big updates over the weekend when their year-older siblings captured Grade Is at two of America's premiere race meets over the holiday weekend. GI Runhappy Del Mar Futurity S. winner Pinehurst's (Twirling Candy) yearling half-brother by Cairo Prince sold prior to the juvenile's breakout score, bringing $120,000 from pinhooker Randy Bradshaw at Fasig-Tipton's New York-Bred Yearling Sale in mid-August. However, the winners of the GI TVG Del Mar Debutante S., GI Spinaway S. and GI Hopeful S. will be represented by...

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Asmussen Agrees To Pay $563,800 After Racing Deal With Dept. of Labor

According to a Sept. 8 filing in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen has agreed to pay $563,800 in back wages and damages covering 170 employees. The amount is derived from $281,900 in unpaid wages plus another $281,900 in damages. The plaintiff in the case was Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh, who had filed a complaint against Asmussen's KED Equine LLC and Asmussen Racing Stables. The period in question runs from June 7, 2016 through at least Sept....

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Hot Trainer Steve Asmussen Joins TDN Writer's Room

On his drive from Saratoga to Kentucky Downs Tuesday, Steve Asmussen stopped in every state he drove through and bought lottery tickets. Shocking that he didn't win. Coming off one of the greatest week-and-a-half stretches in racing history, during which he won five Grade I races in Saratoga over nine days, Asmussen was this week's Green Group Guest of the Week on the TDN Writer's Room, presented by Keeneland. If that wasn't enough, two of his wins, Gunite in the GI Hopeful S. and Echo Zulu in the GI Spinaway...

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This Week in Review: Can Gunite Break the Curse of the Hopeful

There's no doubt that Gunite (Gun Runner) is a quality horse and he secured an important win Monday at Saratoga in the GI Hopeful S when upsetting the highly regarded colts Wit (Practical Joke) and High Oak (Gormley). But is he a GI Kentucky Derby winner? If the last 43 runnings of the Hopeful mean anything, the answer is no. The Hopeful is the first Grade I race for 2-year-old males run each year on the NYRA calendar and always brings together groups of horses who were impressive winners in...

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Gunite Caps Grade I Double For Gun Runner in Hopeful

Gunite (Gun Runner) capped off a remarkable summer for both his freshman sire and his trainer on closing day Monday at Saratoga, shaking off pace pressure and kicking away in the stretch to an 11-1 upset of the GI Hopeful S. His well-earned victory made it a clean sweep of the Spa's annual marquee 2-year-old races for Three Chimneys Farm's freshman sensation Gun Runner after Echo Zulu dominated the GI Spinaway S. Sunday, and was the icing on the cake for Steve Asmussen, who had his most successful Saratoga season...

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No Doubt Echo Zulu Best in Spinaway

L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds' Echo Zulu (Gun Runner) became her freshman sire's first Grade I winner, third graded winner overall--and his second of the upstate meet--with a wire-to-wire victory in the GI Spinaway S. at Saratoga Sunday. "I can't measure how much I wanted to have Gun Runner's first Grade I winner," admitted Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who also conditioned the 2017 Horse of the Year. "Everything he did for the barn, he's obviously a tremendous sire and somebody had to be first, but I'm...

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On to Breeders' Cup for Max Player

George Hall and Sport BLX Thoroughbreds' Max Player (Honor Code) will train up to the Nov. 6 GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Del Mar following his win in Saturday's GI Jockey Club Gold Cup, trainer Steve Asmussen confirmed Sunday. "Max Player is better than he's ever been and physically he's developed into this," Asmussen said. "There's more of him. He's a horse that's continued to grow, fill out and mature. There's a lot more of Max Player as a 4-year-old than there was as a 3-year-old. He's bigger and stronger....

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Pappacap Looking to Step Up in Del Mar Futurity

Having ascended through his conditions with aplomb, Pappacap (Gun Runner) hopes the trend continues in Monday's GI Runhappy Del Mar Futurity. A first-out winner going five panels at Gulfstream May 14, the Rustlewood Farm homebred came from just off the pace to make it two straight in the Aug. 7 GII Best Pal S. Joe Bravo, who was aboard last time, reunites with the Florida bred again here. Never one to be disregarded, on either coast, trainer Steve Asmussen is represented by American Xperiment (Nyquist), who shipped to the West...

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Max Player Powers Clear in Jockey Club Gold Cup

George Hall and SportBLX's Max Player (Honor Code) proved his bounce-back GII Suburban S. score in July was no fluke as he again showed more speed and pulled away to an emphatic victory in the repositioned GI Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga. A fringe player on last year's Triple Crown trail, the Steve Asmussen trainee has stamped himself as a legitimate GI Breeders' Cup Classic threat in two strong efforts at 10 furlongs, and earned an automatic berth into the year-end championship event Saturday as part of the "Win...

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