Monday, July 13, 2009

Steve Asmussen Stars in the Stars of Texas

Saturday, Lone Star Park celebrated the Stars of Texas, which comprised of a handful of stakes races for accredited Texas-breds. And what better way to celebrate the Stars of Texas than to have free beer, which of course, they did not. But it was close – it was also Dollar Day.

Besides the bargains on admission, hot dogs, and liquid refreshments, the Thoroughbred meet’s leading trainer, Steve Asmussen, was an the verge of breaking the record for Most Wins in a Meet, which was 98 wins set by Cole Norman in 2003 and has probably been a burr under Steve Asmussen’s saddle for a while. Anyway, plans were to celebrate this record feat in the Winner’s Circle.

And if cheap beer and record-setting events weren’t enough of a fiesta at the racetrack, Lone Star Park wanted to honor its all-time leading trainer and Hall of Famer ... guess who?? Steve Asmussen, 2009 Lone Star Park Man of the Year. According to an email I received from Dan Leary, Director of Communications,

After the great year that Steve had in 2008, culminating in his first Eclipse Award, Lone Star Park wanted to do something special to honor him. As you know, this is his home base and where he lives. He is here most days with his family.

Stars of Texas Day seemed like the best day to honor him and present him with the Lone Star Park Man of the Year Award.

Anyway, plans were to celebrate this humbling award in the Winner’s Circle after the 6th race.

Conveniently, Steve Asmussen scored his 99th win in the 6th race with aptly named Big Texas Daddy. Even more fitting to the occasion, Big Texas Daddy’s big Texas daddy is Valid Expectations who got this whole stakes-winning ball of wax going for Asmussen. "It was great to set the record with this horse," Asmussen said, alluding to his relationship with Big Texas Daddy’s sire, Valid Expectations.

So the one extended celebration in the Winner’s Circle worked out well for the Asmussen Clan, Lone Star Park brass, and the media. There were photos and signs and interviews and awards and trophies and a cake presented by Chef Jake and an exquisite crystal commemorative knick-knack of some kind that may or may not be introduced to his Eclipse – truly, The Steve Asmussen Daily Double of Celebrations!

Steve Asmussen sets new record for most wins in a single meet
(Photo credit: Lone Star Park)

Every momentous occasion deserves a cake from Chef Jake.

New sign. No cake. There's a good chance the kids are feeling ripped off.

And I know what you’re all thinking ...

What kind of cake?

Italian cream cake.

Asmussen won 5 races on the card, including the Texas Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old fillies with Millennium Farm’s Camille’s Appeal (Valid Expectations - Belle Visage by Horatius). Camille’s Appeal is now 2 for 2, breaking her maiden at first asking at Delaware Park, winning by more than 7 lengths. She shipped in for the Texas Stallion Stakes where she rated at the back of the pack, rolling on the outside at the turn, and closing strong, winning by 2 ¼ lengths. Very appealing.


Teresa said...

I would never have known about this if you hadn't written about it...thanks!

Did they have $1 margaritas, too? Seems only fair.

suebroux said...

Truly $1 frozen margaritas would have been the peak of the jubilation but, alas, they were not and I had to settle on some other ice cold 'refreshment'. Times are tough, ya know!

Anonymous said...

I never expected to find you here!JBennettTorring

suebroux said...

To Anon/JBT: Glad you found me here! It's not nearly as exciting as sneaking into the NCO club at Patton Barracks when you're 17!

Shoot me an email:
suebroux [at] hotmail [dot] com