Steve Asmussen, a National Racing Hall of Fame and Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame trainer, won his 13th Remington Park title in 2017. The accomplishment gives him the all-time lead at Remington Park for seasonal championships.
Asmussen, of Arlington, Texas, had 82 winners for the season at Remington Park. In winning his 13th Chuck Taliaferro Award as the top trainer at Remington Park, Asmussen has now won more season titles in Oklahoma City than any other trainer. He came into the 2017 season tied with Donnie Von Hemel as each had won 12 season titles here.
Federico Villafranco was second in training wins with 41.
Asmussen also led all trainers with a record for earnings with $2,252,190. No trainer had ever topped the two-million mark in earnings during a Remington Park season until this year. Asmussen’s top win came with Untrapped as he captured the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby in September. It was Asmussen’s first victory in the Oklahoma Derby.
Asmussen also had five training wins on Dec. 12, equaling the most on one racing program at Remington Park. The achievement tied the mark of five wins on one local card, set by Wade White in 1993.
The leading trainer award is named after Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame trainer Chuck Taliaferro. A two-time leading trainer at Remington Park, Taliaferro was a leading trainer for decades at many different tracks around the nation. He passed away in 1994.
Pat Steinberg Award – Ramon Vazquez
Jockey Ramon Vazquez won his fifth consecutive riding title, visiting the winner’s circle 94 times. Vazquez, 32, won his 1,000th race in the United Stated on Oct. 5. The native of Puerto Rico also led Remington Park jockeys with $1,997,140 in mount earnings.
Vazquez is the first-call rider for leading owner Danny Caldwell and became the first-call jockey for Asmussen over the second-half of the Remington Park season. The leading jockey award is named after the late Pat Steinberg who dominated the standings at Remington Park until his death in 1993. Steinberg, an Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame jockey, won nine consecutive seasonal championships in Oklahoma City prior to his passing.
Joining Vazquez with more than a million-dollars in mount earnings were Richard Eramia, David Cabrera, Luis Quinonez and Iram Diego. It is the first time five jockeys have topped the million-dollar mark in earnings in the same season at Remington Park.
Ran Ricks, Jr. Award – Danny Caldwell
Danny Caldwell of Poteau, Okla. racked up his ninth Remington Park title as leading owner and his eighth consecutive. Caldwell horses won 39 races, finishing 15 ahead of Asmussen-owned runners. Caldwell also led all owners with earnings of $777,282.
Caldwell has won the Ran Ricks, Jr. award every year since 2010. The leading owner award is named after the first owner to stable horses at Remington Park. Ricks, an Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame owner, was a seven-time leading owner at Remington Park prior to his passing in 1996.
(from Remington Park news release)