12/04/2005 1:00AM

Asmussen wins eight so far Saturday


As of 10 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, trainer Steve Asmussen had won with 8 of 20 starters nationwide. His horses won races from Aqueduct in New York to Zia Park in New Mexico, and he still had starters going at night tracks like Sam Houston Race Park in Texas.

Asmussen was at Zia on Saturday, where he sent out Real Dandy to win the $107,000 Zia Park Derby. He also won a $42,000 overnight stakes at the track with Lunargal. Asmussen starters also won races at Sunland Park in New Mexico, Sam Houston and the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs, where he had a triple on Saturday.

Asmussen won 10 races nationwide on Feb. 9, 2004. He also had seven winners nationwide on Dec. 28, 2002.

Asmussen ranks as North America's leading trainer by wins, and last year he set a record for trainer wins in a year with 555. The feat crushed a 28-year-old record of 496 trainer wins in a year set by Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg in 1976.