04/01/2015 3:00PM

Asmussen gets 7,000th win in North America

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Barbara D. Livingston
Steve Asmussen ranks second all time in North American wins by a trainer behind Dale Baird.

Steve Asmussen reached 7,000 training wins in North America on Wednesday, when Drama Coach won the second race at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. Asmussen entered the day needing two wins to reach the milestone, and he swept the first two races on the card.

Asmussen ranks as the second all-time leading trainer in North America. He trails only the late Dale Baird, who won 9,445 races.

Drama Coach ($3.80) stalked the pace in the $8,000 claiming sprint and went on to a 4 1/4-length win as the 4-5 favorite. Ricardo Santana Jr. was aboard the horse, who was claimed out of the race Wednesday.

Asmussen told Oaklawn officials he was pleased to hit the milestone early in the race week. 

“Last week, we had kind of a slow week, I think six seconds,” he said. “It’s very nice to start off the week for the second race, just get it out of the way and go on and do some winning.”

Asmussen has had 33,373 starters in North America since winning his first race in July 1986. His starters have earned more than $226 million. During the same period, Asmussen has won 794 stakes in North America, with 177 of those victories in graded races.

The statistics do not reflect Curlin’s wins in the 2008 Dubai World Cup and its prep.