11/14/2011 2:23PM

Churchill Downs: Asmussen closing in on 6,000 wins

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Steve Asmussen is five wins from becoming the fifth North American trainer to win 6,000 races.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Any day now – maybe even Friday, his 46th birthday – Steve Asmussen will become just the fifth trainer in North American racing history to hit the 6,000-win milestone. Asmussen, who had 5,995 career victories at the end of action Sunday, was scheduled to run two horses Monday, none Tuesday, and seven Wednesday, including two at Churchill.

The late Dale Baird is the all-time leading trainer in wins, followed by Jack Van Berg, King Leatherbury, and Jerry Hollendorfer.

Asmussen has won the last five meet titles at Churchill, dating to the 2009 spring meet. Into Wednesday action, and with 11 of 21 programs in the books, he and Mike Maker are tied at this fall meet with nine winners apiece. Maker was the last trainer to win a title here besides Asmussen, having set a fall-meet record for wins in 2008 with 31.

Aside from having most of his top horses currently here, Asmussen also has strings at Woodbine, Aqueduct, and Remington.