Brazilian riding champion Jorge Ricardo once again earned distinction as the world’s leading jockey as he put a nose in front of Russell Baze this week, continuing the battle between the two for the world record of races won by a jockey.
Ricardo rode six winners on Palermo Race Course’s June 19 card in Buenos Aires, gaining a one-win advantage over Baze. The following afternoon he won the 13th race at La Plata Race Track, bringing his total career wins to 9,747 over Baze’s 9,745.
Ricardo, 45, followed his father and two uncles to become a jockey in 1976. Six weeks into his apprenticeship, he had already posted 17 wins from 74 mounts. Since then, he has won 400 races in one year on five separate occasions and has been Brazil's leading jockey for 25 consecutive years (1982-2006). He rode in the 1994 running of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I), and although his mount Much Better was unplaced, the colt went on to win four group I races with Ricardo in the saddle, becoming South America’s highest-rated Thoroughbred in 1994 and 1995.
Baze, 48, initially broke Laffit Pincay’s record when he rode his 9,531st winner in December 2006. The jockeys have been battling for the record since February of this year, when Ricardo surpassed the North American rider for the first time. Since then, the lead has changed hands on five other occasions. With Baze currently vacationing in Europe, however, the Brazilian-born jockey may take the chance to increase his advantage.