Baze Ties Pincay's All-Time Win Record

Baze Ties Pincay's All-Time Win Record
Photo: Associated Press
Jockey Russell Baze, second from right, celebrates with his daughters Cassie and Trinity, from left, and wife Tami, right, after winning the sixth race at Bay Meadows to tie Laffit Pincay Jr.'s career record.
Northern California-based jockey Russell Baze tied Laffit Pincay Jr.'s all-time win record of 9,530 when he rode Christie's Fame to victory in the sixth race at Bay Meadows Nov. 30.

Baze got Christie's Fame off to a good start and led from start to finish at 6-5 odds in the mile race for $6,250 claimers. The winner is trained by Dennis Ward.

Baze's record-tying victory ended a day of futility as the rider had two seconds and a third-place finish in his first three mounts of the day.

Ironically, he was not initially scheduled to ride the record-tying horse and was a late substitution for jockey Ricky Frazier, who took off his mounts on the Bay Meadows card.

"I'm very excited," said Jeanne Shand, who saddled the horse in Ward's
absence. "You never know how luck comes around. It's wonderful."

Baze steered Christie's Fame into the winner's circle, greeted by a standing ovation from the sparse crowd and shouts of "Way to go, Russell!" and "We love you."

Co-owner Larry Zimmerman was all smiles, noting that Christie's Fame was beaten in her previous start by a horse that Baze rode.

"I said, 'Russell, what's going on? You don't ride my cheap horses,"' Zimmerman said. "This is something else. I just won the race. Now I got some money."

Fittingly, Baze tied the record in a $6,250 claiming race - typical of the races he has ridden at minor-league tracks during most of a career that began with his first winner in Yakima, Wash., in 1974. That horse was trained by his father, Joe, who won riding titles at Bay Meadows.

Pincay, 59, was on hand to see the record tied that he has owned since Dec. 10, 1999, when he overtook Bill Shoemaker's mark of 8,833. Shoemaker had held the record for 29 years after taking it from Johnny Longden.

Following the srecord-tying sixth race, Baze had two more chances to set the victory record, but those efforts did not produce a victory. In the seventh, he finished fourth with Affadavit and in the eighth-race nightcap, he was sixth aboard Jans Coach, a second-time starter who is the first horse owned by Baze's brother, Earl T. Baze II.

In his first mount Thursday, Baze rode 2-1 second choice Sky Harbor to a second-place finish in the third race, as 3-1 shot Big'n'jazzy broke on top and never looked back en route to a four-length triumph.

He was also second, with 4-5 favorite Swiss Ladybug, in the fourth, which was won by Rare Insight. In his third mount, Stealth Attack, another 4-5 shot for Baze, was near the back of the field before making up ground on the outside to finish third, with Candlestick Park the winner.

With additional reporting from the Associated Press.

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