Updated on 09/16/2011 9:37AM

Asmussen packing six-gun


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A glance at the Tuesday entries at Churchill Downs yields the distinct feeling that if Steve Asmussen wants to be the leading trainer for the second straight fall meet, he will be.

Asmussen, who won his first-ever Churchill title last fall, said before this 30-day meet started Oct. 27 that he hoped to get 50 or 60 starts. Although he has only 36 Churchill stalls, Asmussen has more than 150 active runners at his disposal, a number clearly borne out by the fact he leads all North American trainers in starts and wins this year.

Tuesday alone, Asmussen has six horses entered at Churchill, well above the per-day average he hoped to achieve. One of those horses, Punching, drew the rail in the eighth-race feature, a $44,600 allowance.

Ten filly-mare sprinters were entered in the feature, a six-furlong race scheduled to be run at 4:06 p.m. Eastern. First post is 12:40 p.m.

Pick six finally hit

Five winning tickets, each worth $10,710.40 on a $2 bet, were sold on the Churchill pick six Friday after several days of carryovers. Four of the six winning horses were favorites.

The official Equibase chart said the winning tickets were for a $1 bet, which is no longer allowed. Churchill spokesman Tony Terry said all future reports will be based on a $2 wager.

* For the third straight day, jockey Pat Day captured the Churchill feature, guiding Bag of Mischief ($6.40) to a 1 1/4-length victory Friday. The one-mile race was an inauspicious return for 2001 Louisiana Derby winner Fifty Stars, who trailed throughout in his first start in nearly 18 months for Asmussen.

* Trainer Tom Amoss is giving Lone Star Sky time off after the colt ran a 11th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. "We'll come back in the spring and treat him like a horse on the Kentucky Derby trail," said Amoss.

* Habibti, Trip, Victory Ride, and possibly defending champion Nasty Storm are the big names for the lone stakes here next weekend, the Churchill Downs Distaff on Saturday.

* Trainer Ken McPeek, enjoying easily the best year of his career, has been named to receive the 2002 Warner L. Jones Horseman of the Year Award from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners. A ceremonial dinner will be held Nov. 16 at the Kentucky Derby Museum.

* Trainer Barbara Holbrook has been suspended 60 days by Turfway Park stewards because a syringe containing an illegal tranquilizer was found in her barn.