ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 29, 2011)—Eclipse Award winning trainer Steve Asmussen returned to Santa Anita on Tuesday for the second consecutive year and will maintain a stable of approximately 40 horses through Santa Anita’s upcoming winter/spring meeting, which will open on Dec. 26.

Assistant trainer Scott Blasi will once again oversee Asmussen’s operation at Barn 27, which will include managing recent Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Regally Ready.

The Asmussen stable started 52 horses at the 2010/2011 meeting, winning 13 races, including four stakes.

“We were very happy with how things went here last year,” said Blasi. “Steve said last year that we wanted to do a better job on the top-end of racing and coming here helped us meet that goal. We race all over the country and there’s no better place to be than Santa Anita. The weather is fantastic and the purses are great. We’re just now settling in and hopefully, we’ll be ready to roll by opening day.

“Right now, we’re just monitoring all the horses and making sure they’ve handled the ship well. We’ll make sure everyone is eating up and we’ll just go from there. We’ll probably have a few horses ready to breeze by next week.”

Blasi also noted that highly regarded 3-year-olds Rothko, a colt by Arch who has won his past three races, and Wine Police, a son of champion sprinter Speightstown who was a minor stakes winner this past September at Saratoga, are both being considered for the opening day Malibu Stakes (Grade I) at seven furlongs.

Asmussen, America’s leading trainer by number of winners on five different occasions (2002, 2004, 2005, 2008 & 2009), and was honored as America’s Eclipse Award winning trainer in 2008 and in 2009.

A former jockey, Asmussen is from a highly respected racing family that is based in Laredo, Texas, and he is best known as the trainer of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, who won the honor in 2007 and 2008. Asmussen was also the trainer of the brilliant filly, Rachel Alexandra, who was named Horse of the Year in 2009.

Asmussen’s mother and father, Marilyn and Keith, operate the family’s El Primero Training Center in Laredo. His younger brother Cash earned worldwide recognition as a top rider, winning America’s Eclipse Award as top apprentice jockey in 1979 and was later a six-time leading rider in France.

First post time on Santa Anita’s opening day, Dec. 26, is 12 noon. For advance ticket and dining reservations, call (626) 574-RACE. For additional information, go to