Russell Baze

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Russell Avery Baze
Occupation Jockey
Born (1958-08-07) August 7, 1958 (age 55)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Career wins 12,208 (through 3-28-14)
Major racing wins, honours and awards
Major racing wins
Silky Sullivan Handicap (1981, 1988)
California Derby (1981)
Golden Gate Fields Handicap (1982, 2000)
Bay Meadows Handicap (1982, 1995, 2005)
Oak Tree Invitational Stakes (1984,1989)
El Camino Real Derby
(1984, 1998, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014)
Del Mar Debutante Stakes (1986)
Longacres Mile Handicap (1988, 2003, 2004)
San Carlos Handicap (1990)
San Gorgonio Handicap (1990)
Oak Leaf Stakes (1990)
Bed O' Roses Breeders' Cup Handicap (1991)
Oklahoma Derby (1996)
Jim Beam Stakes (1998)
Lane's End Stakes (1998)
Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint (2002)
Bay Shore Stakes (2005)
King's Bishop Stakes (2005)
Sunshine Millions Dash (2005)
Churchill Downs Handicap (2006)
Aristides Breeders' Cup Stakes (2006)
Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes (2008)
California Cup Juvenile (2007)
California Oaks (2009)
Lost in the Fog Stakes (2009)
Sunshine Millions Classic (2010)
San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile 2010
Ancient Title Stakes (2010)
All American Stakes (2013)
Racing awards
George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award (2002)
Isaac Murphy Award (1995–2003, 2005–2007)
Eclipse Special Award (1995)
United States Champion Jockey by wins
(1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000,
2002, 2005, 2007, 2008)
Honours
United States Racing Hall of Fame (1999)
Significant horses
Lost in the Fog
Bold Chieftain

Russell Avery Baze (born 7 August 1958 [1]) is a horse racing jockey. He holds the record for the most race wins in North American horse racing history, and is a member of the United States Racing Hall of Fame.[2]

Family background[edit]

Born to an American family, Baze's father, Joe Baze, is a former jockey and trainer who was competing at Exhibition Park in Vancouver at the time of his birth giving him dual Canadian/American citizenship.

Riding career[edit]

Baze began his racing career in Walla Walla, Washington in 1974 and won his first race that fall at the Yakima racetrack. By the early 1980s he was making a name for himself, winning racing titles at northern California racetracks including a victory in the 1981 California Derby. Baze went on to lead United States thoroughbred horse racing in victories ten times. He has won 36 riding titles at Bay Meadows racetrack in San Mateo, California and 27 titles at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, California.

After winning 400 or more races in a year for four consecutive years, Baze got his big break by being honored with a special Eclipse Award in 1995. Since then he has won 400 or more races in a year seven additional times; no other jockey has accomplished that feat more than three times.

In 1999, Baze was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and in 2002, he was voted the recipient of the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award by his peers. Since the inauguration of the Isaac Murphy Award in 1995, presented annually by the National Turf Writers Association to the jockey with the highest winning percentage in North America, Baze has won it 13 of 14 years, coming in second in 2004.[3]

Achievements[edit]

Baze holds the Santa Anita Park track record for 112 miles on turf set on October 14, 1989, aboard the 3-year-old colt, Hawkster. In the fourth race at Bay Meadows on December 1, 2006, Baze gained a lot more fame by setting the world's all-time record for most career victories, passing jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., by winning race 9,531 aboard Butterfly Belle, owned by Jim Pitzer Sr. of Washington. Among other noteworthy accomplishments, during the two days of October 17 and 18, 2007, Baze won eleven races. [1]

Although he had won every other stakes race at Golden Gate Fields, Russell had never won the track's most prestigious race: the San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile. That changed on April 24, 2010 when he took the race on Bold Chieftain from the pacesetter, Monterey Jazz.

Milestones[edit]

On February 1, 2008, at Golden Gate Fields, Baze rode Two Step Cat to a photo finish victory in the third race to become the first North American rider to win 10,000 races. On August 14, 2010, in the fourth race at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California, Baze rode Separate Forest, a first-time starter, to his 11,000th win.

On July 7, 2013, in Pleasanton, California, riding Handful of Pearls, Baze won the final race on the last day of the Alameda County Fair, making it his 12,000th win and his 4th win of the day.

Personal life[edit]

Baze and his wife Tami have three daughters, Trinity, Brandi, and Cassie, and one son, Gable. Trinity is married to former jockey Kyle Kaenel, whose father, Jack Kaenel, won the Preakness Stakes at age 16.

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2000–present) Peak
position
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2000 28
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2001 20
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2002 22
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2003 24
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2004 33
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2005 21
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2006 23
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2007 27
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2008 26
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2009 32
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2010 35
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2011 41
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2012 37
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2013 44

References[edit]