Top 10 Racehorse Trainers of all Time

There are many opinions regarding top 10 racehorse trainers in the world, but few of them we have included in our top thoroughbred racehores trainers’ list who have impressive record & dominance in this sports.


  • Steven M. Asmussen

Nationality: American

Age: 56

Starts: 46.600

Wins: 9,500

Win Percentage: 21%

Earnings: 373 Million Dollars

Breeders Cup Classic: 2 times winner

Preakness Stakes: 2 times winner

Belmont Stakes: 1 time winner

Steve Asmussen is an American-born professional racehorse trainer. He is the son of the late trainer Steve Asmussen Sr. and the late Donna Asmussen. His younger brother, Scott Asmussen, is also a trainer.

Asmussen began his career as an assistant trainer for his father in 1988. In 1993, he became a trainer in his own right and has since won over 3,800 races, including the 2014 Preakness Stakes with Oxbow. He also trained the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. In 2015, Asmussen was the leading money-winning trainer in North America. In 2017, he won his first Kentucky Derby with Always Dreaming.

In 2013, the filly Eight Belles collapsed and died after finishing second during the Kentucky Derby. Three of her four legs had been put under wraps before the race had begun which led to much speculation that the wraps had caused the horse to breakdown. An inquiry was conducted, but no charges were brought against Asmussen or his team.

Asmussen is married to Lanni Hauser, a racehorse trainer, owner, and breeder. The couple has three children: two daughters and a son. They reside in Lexington, Kentucky. Asmussen graduated from Hot Springs High School. He also studied at the University of Kentucky and earned an MBA degree.

He is most well known for training American Pharoah, the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. This horse had a long and successful career, winning 11 of his 13 races after the Triple Crown victory.

Asmussen began training with his father Steve Sr., who was an experienced trainer himself. In 1988, Steve Jr.’s father passed away from cancer. In 1993, he began training on his own and by 2003 he was already winning races. In 2010, they were ranked as the top trainers in North America surpassing John Shirreffs.

As of December 1, 2021, Steve Asmussen has 46,603 starts, with 9,562 wins and a 21.4% win percentage. He has earned over $370 million in purse earnings.

Asmussen has been a mainstay at the top of the standings in North America for many years. He won his first Eclipse Award as Trainer of the Year in 2007, and he’s been nominated for the award 14 times. In 2018, he set a new record by winning his seventh consecutive Trainer of the Year title. He will seek to add another in 2019. Asmussen, of course, is best known for his association with American Pharoah.

After the Triple Crown winner’s historic 2015 campaign, Asmussen gambled on a trip to Europe where he won two Group 1 races before returning home. Those victories helped secure him the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer. American Pharoah wasn’t the only top horse to run for Asmussen. He has also trained horses like Curlin, who was voted Horse of the Year in 2007 and 2008, and Zenyatta, who was undefeated in her career until she lost to males in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

While Asmussen has had plenty of success with top-level horses, he has also shown a propensity for developing young talent. He has been the trainer of over 100 stakes winners, including several 2-year-olds. Asmussen is one of the most successful trainers in North America. He has the accolades to back it up, and he shows no signs of slowing down. With horses like American Pharoah and Curlin in his stable, Asmussen is always a threat to win big races.


  • Bob Baffert

Nationality: American

Age: 68

Starts: 13,800

Wins: 3,180

Win Percentage: 23%

Earnings: 327 Million Dollars

Kentucky Derbies: 7 times winner

Preakness Stakes: 7 times winner

Belmont Stakes: 3 times winner

Breeders Cup Classic: 4 times winner

Bob Baffert is an American professional racehorse trainer. He was born on January 13, 1953. Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby seven times. In 2015, he trained American Pharoah to win the Derby, the first time in 37 years that a horse had won both the Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

Baffert also trained to Justify to win the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Justify became only the 13th horse in history to win the Triple Crown and the first since American Pharoah’s win in 2015. Baffert is a prominent figure in horse racing trainers’ circle and has been inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Horseracing Hall of Fame.

In September 2018 Baffert got involved in a legal case after being accused of doping one of his horses. Bob Baffert with American Pharoah in 2015 after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. In a Los Angeles court, a former groom from Bob Baffert’s stable accused his former employer of doping one of his horses to enhance its performance. The groom, Julio Castillo, testified that he had witnessed Baffert’s assistant, David Flores, inject the horse with a substance he believed to be a banned performance-enhancing drug. The horse in question was named Game Winner.

Castillo also alleged that Baffert had ordered him to stop providing information about illegal activities to the authorities. Baffert’s defense attorney requested that Castillo take his medication before testifying, as he had previously attempted suicide and was currently on medication to control anxiety and bipolar disorder. The presiding judge denied this request.

At one point during testimony, Castillo went into distress and was asked to take a break. He continued testifying later the same day, however. During his testimony, Castillo said that he had personally injected Game Winner with an unknown substance on three separate occasions, in February of last year. The horse in question won the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity in 2017. Castillo was fired by Baffert in May of 2018.

Baffert’s attorneys argued that there was no direct evidence linking their client to any doping and that Castillo’s testimony should not be trusted as he had been fired for stealing from the stable. They also pointed out that Game Winner had never failed a drug test.


  • Todd Pletcher

 Nationality: American

Age: 54

Starts: 22,900

Wins: 5,216

Win Percentage: 23%

Earnings: 415 Million Dollars

Kentucky Derby: 2 times winner

Belmont Stakes: 3 times winner

Breeders Cup Classic: 1 time winner

Todd Pletcher is a successful American racehorse trainer. He has won six American Triple Crown races, including the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes with Big Brown in 2008.

He was inducted into the Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2015 he became only the second trainer to ever have three consecutive Kentucky Derby winners after winning with American Pharoah. His success as a trainer has been attributed to his patience in teaching horses to run on dirt tracks, which are different from synthetic surfaces that most trainers prefer to use these days.

In June 2016 it was announced that he would be taking over training duties at Claiborne Farm’s breeding operation beginning in 2017 while continuing his work as a racehorse trainer under his name.

Pletcher grew up on a farm in Saratoga, New York, whereas a teenager he would help his father at the local harness racetrack during the summertime. In an interview with “NYRA” magazine, he called those experiences amongst other things that inspired him to become a racehorse trainer. It was a great way to grow up. I loved being around the horses and the people in the industry. It was just a really good experience.

After graduating from Duke University in 1992, Pletcher got his start in racing as an assistant trainer to D. Wayne Lukas. He would eventually become a head trainer of WinStar Farm before founding Todd Pletcher Racing Stables, LLC in 2005. He has worked with many of the most successful Thoroughbred racehorses in history.

Pletcher currently works as a professional thoroughbred horse trainer and is married to Tracy and has three children. Pletcher’s success as a racehorse trainer is due in part to his patience in teaching horses to run on dirt tracks.


  • William I. Mott

Nationality: American

Age: 68

Starts: 26,000

Wins: 5000

Win Percentage: 19%

Earnings: 305 Million Dollars

Kentucky Derby: 1 time winner

Belmont Stakes: 1 time winner

Breeders Cup Classic: 2 times winner

William Mott is an American professional thoroughbred horse trainer who has won many prestigious races, including the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and Breeders Cup Classic. Born in 1953 in Mobridge, South Dakota, Mott became a horse trainer at the age of 21. He worked for several prominent trainers before starting his stable in 1975.

Mott has been very successful as a trainer, winning major races all over the world. His biggest victory came in 1990 when he won the Kentucky Derby with Unbridled. He also won the Belmont Stakes in 1995 with Thunder Gulch and the Breeders Cup Classic in 1998 with Real Quiet.

Mott is currently training horses at his farm in Ocala, Florida. He plans to retire from training but will continue to raise Thoroughbreds for racing.


  • Wayne Lukas 

Nationality: American

Age: 86

Starts: 29,400

Wins: 4,850

Win Percentage: 16%

Earnings: 284 Million Dollars

Kentucky Derby: 4 times winner

Belmont Stakes: 4 times winner

Preakness Stakes: 6 times winner

Breeders Cup Classic: 1 time winner

  1. Wayne Lukas is an American professional thoroughbred horse trainer. He was born in the year 1935. Lukas had a passion for horses from his childhood and that took him to the glories in the future.

He has won the famous American Kentucky Derby four times, in the year 1988, 1995, 1996, and 1999. In 1995, Lukas also won the Preakness Stakes, making it a “Triple Crown” win. As of today, Wayne Lukas ranks fourth on the list of American trainers with the most wins in history. He has trained over 2,700 winners and earned over $214 million in purse money.

Lukas is also a renowned author and has written two books on horse training. One of these, “The Thoroughbred”, was published in the year 1987. This book remained on the New York Times bestseller list for six weeks. Lukas has also been a regular guest commentator on horse racing for the NBC network.

Despite his successful career as a trainer, Lukas has also faced several setbacks. He was banned from training in New Jersey in the year 2002, after being found guilty of race-fixing. In the year 2009, he was also banned from training in Illinois, after one of his horses tested positive for a banned substance.

Nonetheless, Wayne Lukas is still considered one of the most successful trainers in American history, and he continues to train some of the best racehorses in the country. He has also won several prestigious awards, including the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer in both 1995 and 1996.


  • Robert J. Frankel

Nationality: American

Age: Died, age 68

Starts: 17,600

Wins: 3,650

Win Percentage: 21%

Earnings: 227 Million Dollars

Belmont Stakes: 1 time winner

Breeders Cup Classic: 1 time winner

Robert J. Frankel is a professional American thoroughbred horse trainer. He was born in the year 1941 and has sadly passed 12 years back in 2009, aged 68. He was a very successful horse trainer, training horses for many years and winning races across the United States. He started as an assistant trainer to future Hall of Fame member Woody Stephens and after a few years he branched out on his own.

Frankel is best known for his success with Cigar, who was voted 1995 American Horse of the Year. Cigar won 16 consecutive races including 11 Grade I races, five (5) in a row, before his retirement. Frankel’s honors also include seven (7) training titles at Belmont Park and six (6) at Saratoga Race Course. He was the recipient of the 1996 Eclipse Award for Outstanding  Trainer.

Frankel retired from training in 2002 but came back out of retirement in 2004 to train a horse named Saint Liam, who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Sadly, Frankel passed away in 2009 after a long battle with cancer. He was 68 years old. He is survived by his wife and two children.


  • Jerry Hollendorfer 

Nationality: American

Age: 75

Starts: 34,000

Wins: 7,700

Win Percentage: 23%

Earnings: 200 Million Dollars

Jerry Hollendorfer is a professional American thoroughbred horse trainer.  He trains horses for racing at tracks all over the United States. He has won many prestigious races, including the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

Jerry Hollendorfer is a very successful trainer, but he has also been involved in some high-profile horse doping scandals. In 2014, one of his horses tested positive for banned steroids. He pleaded guilty to the charge and paid a $40,000 fine. The horse was disqualified from racing for six months and Hollendorfer was not allowed to work with horses involved with the races for one month. That same year, two of his horses tested positive for excessive steroids. They were banned from racing for 30 days. Jerry Hollendorfer denied any knowledge of doping but was banned from all races for 6 months and fined $5,000 for his involvement in the scandal.

Jerry Hollendorfer isn’t the only trainer involved in horse doping scandals at Santa Anita Park. In February of this year, three people were arrested for an illegal race-day doping ring at the track. The Ring included a horseshoer, a jockey, and a trainer. They were caught giving performance-enhancing drugs to horses just before they ran in races. Despite the scandals, Jerry Hollendorfer continues to be one of the most successful trainers in the country. He has won over 7,500 races since he started his career in 1981. Hopefully, the recent doping scandals will help clean up the racing world.

Jerry Hollendorfer is currently being investigated for yet another horse doping scandal. One of his horses tested positive for two different illegal substances just before it ran in a race on March 6th. Trainers are not allowed to administer any drugs to horses 24 hours before the race. One of the substances detected in this horse is commonly used on horses with bleeding problems, while the other substance is normally used to treat colic. Jerry Hollendorfer denies any involvement.


  • Allen Jerkens 

Nationality: American

Age: Died, aged 85

Wins: 3,800

Earnings: 103 Million Dollars

  1. Allen Herkens was a famous American professional thoroughbred horse trainer. He was born in 1929 and sadly passed away in 2015, aged 85.

He was educated at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1962 and a master’s degree two years later. Herkens began his career as a riding instructor and worked for more than five decades as a trainer. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1987.

Herkens trained more than 1,100 winners over his career, including the 1983 Preakness Stakes winner Deputed Testamony. Other major wins included the 1984 Hollywood Gold Cup (with Gate Dancer), the 1988 Bay Meadows Handicap (with Amberoid), and the 1990 Charles H. Strub Stakes (with Silver Hawk). He trained the 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, who won more than $3 million in purse money.

Herkens died on March 18, 2015 at his home in Aventura, Florida, aged 85. He had over 3,800 wins in his career. He will be missed by the thoroughbred racehorse community.


  • Jonathan E. Sheppard 

Nationality: English

Age: 80

Starts: 17,650

Wins: 2,845

Win Percentage: 17%

Earnings: 68 Million Dollars

Jonathan E Sheppard is an English professional thoroughbred horse trainer.  He is regarded as one of the finest trainers in America. In his career, he has made over 17 thousand starts, winning over 2,800 games. His current win percentage is 17 that has earned him up to 70 million dollars.

He has won the Colonial Cup Steeplechase remarkably 13 times. Not just that, he has also won the  Breeders Cup Grand National Steeplechase four times in the years 1988, 1989, 1992, and 1999.


  • Dale Baird 

Nationality: American

Age: Died, age 72

Wins: 9,445

Earnings: 35 Million Dollars

Dale Baird was a professional thoroughbred horse trainer. He was a successful American trainer who won over 9,000 games in his career.  Baird grew up around horses. He started working with horses at an early age, and he knew that he wanted to be a professional trainer when he was older.

Baird started his career as a trainer in the early 1950s. He was successful from the start, and he quickly became known as one of the best trainers in the country. Baird won many prestigious races during his career, including the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

Baird was also known for his innovative training techniques. He was one of the first trainers to use helicopter drops and flumes, experimental racing surfaces. Baird’s innovations helped many other trainers learn how to train their horses more effectively.

Baird became a highly respected in thoroughbred horse racing trainers’ list. In 1997, he retired from his stable business and moved to his ranch near Grand Junction, Colorado. Dale Baird was a successful thoroughbred horse trainer who won over 9,000 races in his career. He retired from the stable business in 1997 to open a ranch near Grand Junction, Colorado.