ASMUSSEN, RACHEL ALEXANDRA AND ZENYATTA
INDUCTED INTO RACING’S HALL OF FAME
Hot Springs, Ark. (Monday, April 25, 2016) – Seven-time leading trainer Steve Asmussen and the top race mares Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, who were both named Horse of the Year after winning stakes earlier in the season at Oaklawn in 2009 and 2010, respectively, will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame August 12 in Saratoga, NY. The three, along with jockey Ramon Dominquez, who won the 2011 Apple Blossom with that year’s Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, were all selected in the contemporary category.
Asmussen, who recently won his third Arkansas Derby (G1) with Creator, wrapped up his seventh trainer’s title in 2016 with 46 wins and an Oaklawn record $3,448,729 in earnings. He trained three straight Horse of the Years in Curlin (2007 & ’08) and Rachel Alexandra (2009). Curlin won the 2007 Rebel and Arkansas Derby, while Rachel Alexandra won the Martha Washington and Fantasy (while trained by Hal Wiggins). Curlin became his first Triple Crown race winner when he took the 2007 Preakness Stakes and he repeated that victory two years later with Rachel Alexandra shortly after the filly was transferred to his barn. The two-time champion trainer has also trained Eclipse Award winners Untapable, My Miss Aurelia and Kodiak Kowboy. He currently has two leading Kentucky Derby candidates – Gun Runner and Creator – and three leading Kentucky Oaks contenders – Terra Promessa, Taxable and Nickname.
Rachel Alexandra began her ambitious 2009 campaign in Hot Springs winning the Martha Washington and Fantasy Stakes (G3) in impressive fashion and went on to win the Kentucky Oaks by 20 1/4 lengths. After the Oaks, she was sold to Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet and turned over to Asmussen. For her new connections, she beat males on three separate occasions in the Preakness, Haskell Invitational and Woodward Stakes before retiring in 2010 with a record of 13 wins from 19 starts and earnings of $3,506,730.
When Zenyatta made her first trip to Oaklawn in 2008 and won the Apple Blossom Handicap in just her fourth career start she was virtually an unknown, but by the time she returned in 2010, she was a superstar. Her victory in that year’s Apple Blossom equaled a modern-day record of 16 consecutive victories and came with much fanfare. She retired at the end of 2010 with a record of 19 and 1 after being denied the repeat victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic by a slim margin.
“Oaklawn is honored to have played a role in the Hall of Fame careers of Steve Asmussen, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta,” said Director of Racing David Longinotti. “Our goal has always been to offer the best racing in the country and when our horsemen and horses go on to achieve such a great success on the national level, it’s certainly a positive endorsement to our racing product.”
For more information about Oaklawn, visit www.oaklawn.com.