Opening night at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie was the Steve Asmussen Show. It featured Steve Asmussen. And Steve Asmussen.
Actually, it was Steve Asmussen Bobblehead Night. Regardless of the fact that he is the trainer of world-dominating, all-powerful, Horse of the Year, Curlin, as well as top Derby favorite, Pyro, you know he’s made it to the top because he’s now a bobblehead. Right up there withA-Rod and the Pope.
As I stood in line to have Steve Asmussen autograph the backside of my Steve Asmussen bobblehead, I wondered aloud – to no one in particular – if Bob Baffert had his own bobblehead. The woman standing in front of me, wearing a 133rd Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands t-shirt excitedly responded to my query, “Oh yes he does! I don’t have it but I do have a Julie Krone bobblehead and when she was posing for it she asked that her bobblehead be given bigger boobs, so sure enough her bobblehead got a boob job. And I have a Todd Pletcher bobblehead. And I have a Seabiscuit bobblehead that plays the theme from Bewitched – or is it the song that they play before the running of the Big Cap? – and it is really valuable. And I’m going to the Derby and I got my tickets on eBay but I’m sure I won’t be able to go again next year because my husband and I drank 24 Mint Juleps between us last year and we had to spend the night in the drunk tank in some little hillbilly Kentucky town on our way home from the Derby and they informed us that we should avoid driving through their county again. By the way, would you like to see a couple of pictures of my grandkids?”
Anyway, Steve Asmussen obliged me for a photo opportunity; I suggested that he hold up his bobblehead, something akin to the Preakness Trophy.
And as any good fact-finding, horse racing blogger sans a press pass would do, I quickly pursued an answer to the burning question that many of you have: Does he really have a suit that color? That, er, unusual Dijon-mustard would you really wear that in public and you should go back to the Men’s Warehouse and get something a little more attractive color?
“Yes. Yes, I do,” Steve Asmussen replied.
He may have horse sense but his fashion sense may be in doubt.
And speaking of his horse sense, he certainly did a commendable job demonstrating that ability, saddling 4 winners on opening night.
Here’s a photo of Steve Asmussen at the top of the stretch. It’s common to see him here, sitting on a picnic table or leaning against the rail, watching his charges. On occasion, you can hear him whistling at them, encouraging them on. Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me if the horses actually heard him.
And here’s Steve Asmussen enjoying a frozen margarita at the Courtyard of Champions,
Welcome Lone Star Park’s 2008 Spring Thoroughbred Meet.