Gaffalione, Asmussen secure Churchill September meet titles while Owners’ race up for grabs

September 27, 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky. –Jockey Tyler Gaffalione has been riding at Churchill Downs since the 2018 Fall Meet and, at the start of racing on Sunday for closing day of the September Meet, the 26-year-old Florida-native has already secured his third leading rider title of his young career.

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen held an insurmountable lead, 11 wins to 7 over Brad Cox in the trainer standings, while owner Richard Rigney will battle for the title Sunday among a flurry of pursuers.

Gaffalione, who began riding fulltime at Churchill Downs six meets ago, began Sunday eight wins in front of Ricardo Santana Jr., 20-12. Represented by Florida-based agent Matt Muzikar, Gaffalione plans to ride at Keeneland for the next three weeks before the Churchill Downs Fall Meet. This was Gaffalione’s second leading rider title in the month of September. He also won the crown at the six-day Kentucky Downs meet.

“It’s pretty awesome having the leading title associated with you,” Gaffalione said. “It’s been a short but fun meet. I’m very thankful for all of the opportunities that were given to me.”

In the trainer standings, Cox held the early lead over Asmussen following a six-win Kentucky Derby Week but Asmussen took over the proceedings when the September Meet restarted Sept. 17. This is Asmussen’s record-extending 24th leading trainer title beneath the historic Twin Spires.

In the owner’s standings, Rigney’s Rigney Racing was in a tie atop the rankings at the start of Sunday’s 10-race program with Gary and Mary West. Rigney had two entries in Races 3 and 10 while the Wests did not have any entered. Three ownership groups with two wins have the opportunity to tie Rigney and the Wests: Albaugh Family Stables (one entry, Race 1); Allied Racing Stable (one entry, Race 9); and Juddmonte Farm (one entry, Race 4).

Sunday’s card at Churchill Downs had a first post of 12:45 p.m. There were mandatory payouts in all wagers but no carryovers as the Single 6 Jackpot was hit twice in the last two racing days. Following Sunday’s program, racing in the Commonwealth will move to Keeneland from Oct. 2-24.

The Churchill Downs Fall Meet will run from Oct. 25-Nov. 29. There will be a two-day break on Nov. 6-7 for the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland. For more information, visit


Kentucky Derby (Grade I) winner Authentic is scheduled to have his final workout before Saturday’s $1 million Preakness (GI) on Monday at Churchill Downs. The colt is tentatively scheduled to work at 7:30 a.m. Horses based at Churchill Downs running in the Oct. 3 Preakness will fly from Louisville to Baltimore on Tuesday.

Press Release

Photo: Tyler Gaffalione. Credit: Churchill Downs/Coady

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