The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame announced Friday that the nomination of Steve Asmussen for possible induction this year has been tabled as a result of developments the last two days.
Regulators in New York and Kentucky are looking into an undercover investigation of Asmussen's barn by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The investigation of allegations of "abuse and mistreatment" of horses was first reported in the New York Times.
"Based on pending investigations by the New York State Gaming Commission and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission into allegations made by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and reported by various media outlets, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame has decided it is in the best interests of the institution and the sport of Thoroughbred racing in general to table the 2014 Hall of Fame nomination of trainer Steve Asmussen," the organization said in a one-sentence release.
In an additional note to voters, the Hall said, "Any votes already cast in support of Mr. Asmussen will not be counted in the 2014 election process. The Hall of Fame will still elect the top four vote-getters among the remaining nine candidates placed before the voters."
Asmussen and Curlin, the two-time Horse of the Year trainer sent out to win nine group/graded stakes in those championship years, were among the finalists on the National Museum of Racing's 2014 Hall of Fame ballot.
With the removal of Asmussen from the ballot, trainer Gary Jones, four jockeys and four Thoroughbreds are the finalists on this year's ballot, as selected by the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee. The candidates are: jockeys Chris Antley, Garrett Gomez, Craig Perret, and Alex Solis; Thoroughbreds Ashado, Curlin, Kona Gold, and Xtra Heat; and Jones.
The results of the voting on contemporary candidates will be announced April 25. The induction ceremony will be held at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Aug. 8, at 10:30 a.m. The ceremony is free and open to the public.