07/01/2013 10:09AM

Churchill Downs: Asmussen and Maker tie for training title

Barbara D. Livingston
Steve Asmussen (above) earned his record 12th training title at Churchill Downs. He and Mike Maker tied at 35 wins apiece at the spring meet, which ended Sunday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After a back-and-forth duel over the last few days, Mike Maker salvaged a tie for leading trainer with Steve Asmussen at the Churchill Downs spring meet by sending out the winner of the last race on the closing-day card Sunday.

Buzzin at Midnight was an easy odds-on winner of the meet finale when ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, the leading jockey at the 38-day meet with 53 wins. Buzzin at Midnight was the 32nd winner of the meet for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who three days earlier broke the record (27) for most wins at a Churchill meet.

Maker and Asmussen both sent out 35 winners, marking the second time they have tied for a Churchill training title (2011 fall). For Asmussen, it was a record 12th title here, surpassing the 11 earned by D. Wayne Lukas. For Maker, it is his third Churchill title.

In April, the Ramseys, the all-time leading owners at Churchill, also broke the record for wins at a Keeneland meet with 25.

“We’re going to really take it to ‘em at Saratoga,” said Ken Ramsey, referring to the upstate New York meet that begins July 19.

For Bridgmohan, a 34-year-old native of Jamaica, the Churchill riding title was his second. He tied for the 2006 fall meet title with Calvin Borel. Bridgmohan also has been the leading rider at Aqueduct, Arlington, and Fair Grounds. He won an Eclipse Award in 1998 as top apprentice.

Rosie Napravnik was second in the jockey standings with 45 wins, easily the most ever by a female rider at a Churchill meet.

As usual, the Churchill spring meet was an eventful one, with the highlight coming May 4 with a victory by Orb in the 139th Kentucky Derby.

Tracks owned by Churchill Downs Inc. do not release aggregate business figures for attendance and handle.

Live action on the Kentucky circuit resumes Thursday at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., where a two-month meet runs through Sept. 2. Racing will be conducted mostly on a three-day-a-week basis (Fridays through Sundays).