Churchill Downs' Spring Meet ends with Lanerie, Asmussen and Moss atop standings

June 29, 2014 

Corey Lanerie, who rode two winners Sunday, finished the Spring Meet as Churchill Downs' leading jockey with 57 victories.

It was his third straight riding title and fifth overall at the Louisville track.

Lanerie won his first Churchill title in the spring of 2012 when he tallied 71 victories, came back and won the title again in the fall of 2012 with 29 wins, took the inaugural September meeting in 2013 with 19 wins and followed that with another title last November where he rode 36 winners.

"Once you've accomplished a leading riding title you always want to repeat," Lanerie said Saturday. "It's definitely a goal I set for myself coming into this spring.

"I try not to look into the standings during the meet because I don't want it to affect my focus. So I just try to win as many as I can each week to try to earn a good paycheck."

Lanerie totaled an unprecedented 253 mounts for the meet, at least 70 more than any other jockey.

"My agent plays a big role in my success and has a lot of connections here at Churchill," Lanerie said. "Other than that, it's just putting in work; I've spent a lot of time here over the years and have been able to build up some great relationships."

The highlight of Lanerie's meet was the win he took in the Grade II, $216,200 Fleur de Lis Handicap on Molly Morgan for trainer Dale Romans.

"I'd say the Fleur de Lis was probably the most memorable for me this meet, just because it was a graded stakes and we weren't really expected to win that one."

Molly Morgan won the Fleur de Lis by 4 lengths at odds of 10-1, defeating Grade I-winner On Fire Baby and graded stakes winners Fiftyshadesofhay and Flashy American.

"I'm lucky to have so many opportunities to ride, and obviously the more opportunities you have, the more you win," Lanerie said. "People like me, thank God, and fortunately they ask for me."

■ Trainer Steve Asmussen also picked up two more wins Sunday to give him a meet-high 21. It was his record-extending 14th training title at Churchill Downs.

Asmussen pulled away late in the final week to emerge with his seventh Spring Meet crown following a tight battle with Dale Romans (16 wins), Mike Maker (16) and Brad Cox (15).

"It feels very good," Asmussen said Saturday. "It's a special meet with Untapable winning the (Kentucky) Oaks. My assistants, Darren Fleming and Galen Prewitt, have done a wonderful job for us and hopefully the hits keep coming."

The 48-year-old Asmussen also earned stakes victories during the meet with Tapiture in the Grade III Matt Winn, Cinco Charlie in the Grade III Bashford Manor, Regally Ready in the Opening Verse and Speedinthruthecity in the Roxelana.

Asmussen took his first training title in the fall of 2001, saddling 13 winners. He has won the fall training title six times, the spring title seven times and took the inaugural September meeting title in 2013.

Romans won major Spring Meet stakes events with Silver Max in the Grade II Firecracker and Molly Morgan in the Grade II Fleur De Lis.

■ Maggi Moss sent seven horses into the winner's circle during the Spring Meet to earn her third Churchill Downs title as top owner.

Her highlight was a victory by Delaunay in the Grade II, $112,900 Aristides.

Moss also captured leading owner honors in the spring of 2010 and the spring of 2007.

Moss said in a tweet on Saturday that her private goal was to become the leading owner of the Churchill Downs spring meet, that she was really happy and then thanked her trainer, Tom Amoss, for his efforts.

■ Churchill Downs will host its second September Meet beginning on Friday, Sept. 5. The 12-day meet will feature live racing Friday to Sunday, with the final day on Sunday, Sept. 28.

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