Racing Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze, who became Thoroughbred racing’s all-time leading jockey by victories in 2006, will receive his 11th overall Isaac Murphy Award from the National Turf Writers Association for finishing last season with the highest winning percentage of any North American jockey.
Baze, who won the first nine Isaac Murphy Awards presented from 1995-2003 and again in 2005, finished the 2006 season with a winning percentage of 29.2% after winning 378 races from 1,294 mounts. Baze earned the award after finishing less than one percentage point ahead of John Davila Jr.
Presented by the NTWA, the Isaac Murphy Award is named in honor of the 19th century African American
jockey who won with 44% of his career mounts. Jockeys need to have ridden a minimum of 500 races to be eligible for the award. Baze will receive his honor from the NTWA later this year.
Rounding out the top ten leading jockeys in 2006 by winning percentage were 2004 Isaac Murphy Award winner Ramon Dominguez (27.1%), Joe Bravo (26.2%), Chad Schvaneveldt (23.6%), John Velazquez (23.2%), Julien Leparoux (23.2%), Jose Lezcano (22.9%), Harry Vega (22.7%), and Travis Dunkelberger (22.6%).