Russell Baze Reaches 12,000-Win Milestone

Russell Baze Reaches 12,000-Win Milestone
Photo: Vassar Photography
Handful of Pearls guides Russel Baze to his 12,000th win!

Jockey Russell Baze extended his all-time leading win total to 12,000 when he achieved the milestone aboard Handful of Pearls in the 11th race July 7 at the Alameda County Fair meet in Pleasanton, Calif.

The 12,000th victory was the fourth of the day at the county fair meet for the 54-year-old Baze, who hails from a family of horsemen. After winning the fourth, eighth, and ninth races, Baze picked up his winning mount in the 11th for trainer Andy Mathis after the listed jockey, Dennis Carr, became ill, according to, the San Francisco Chronicle's website.

After eking out the nose victory with Handful of Pearls, Baze was honored with a standing ovation.

"That was a lot of fun," the jockey told after a post-race autograph session. "I was really glad to do it today because my family was here."

Baze is North America's second-leading rider by wins in 2013 with 189, one behind leader Joel Rosario through July 7.

According to The Jockey Club Information Systems, Baze has won with 24% of his 50,538 career mounts, finishing in the money with 56% of the horses he has ridden. Second to Baze on the all-time jockeys' list is retired rider Laffit Pincay Jr., with 9,530 wins from 48,486 mounts.

Baze was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1999.

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