Jockey Russell Baze celebrated Thanksgiving Day by winning his 400th race of the year Thursday at Golden Gate Fields.
The nation's leading jockey in victories this year, Baze posted win No. 400 aboard the 3-year-old filly Rough R. N. in the first race. Rough R. N., trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, was making her career debut and romped home by 7 1/2 lengths in the six-furlong contest.
Incredibly, Baze has won 400 races 10 of the past 11 years, failing only in 1999 when he finished with 373 wins after being sidelined for more than a month with back injuries.
Baze is the only jockey in thoroughbred racing history to win 400 races in a year more than three times.
Baze, a Hall of Famer, has already wrapped up his seventh national riding championship as he leads second-place Edgar Prado by more than 100 victories heading into the final month of the year.
"I did it a little earlier this year," said Baze, who takes all of his accomplishments in stride. "I've had lots of good horses."
A winner of more than 8,000 races, Baze ranks as the fourth leading rider in thoroughbred racing history. When asked if he ever thinks about the remarkable numbers he has posted in his career, Baze responded, "I'll ponder all those things when I quit riding, but right now I'm too busy thinking about the next race."
Baze finished the holiday card with 402 wins as he also won the seventh race with Giovannetti ($3.00) and the eighth with Ells End ($5.00).