Baze Wins 2001 Isaac Murphy Award

Baze Wins 2001 Isaac Murphy Award
Photo:
Russell Baze, right, along with trainer D. Wayne Lukas during induction into racing's Hall of Fame.
Jockey Russell Baze has won the Isaac Murphy Award presented by the National Turf Writers Association for the seventh consecutive year.

The award, given to the jockey with the highest winning percentage (with a minimum of 500 mounts) during the year, was inaugurated in 1995 and has been presented to Baze each year since its inception.

In 2001, the Northern California-based rider won 423 races from 1,503 mounts, 28.1%, according to Daily Racing Form statistics. Kris Prather ranked second, with 25.9%. Prather, injured much of the year, just qualified with 502 mounts. She won 130 races.

Baze has ridden 400 or more winners nine of the past 10 years. He would have likely reached that level all 10 years, but an injury in 1999 caused him to miss part of the year. He became the sixth rider to reach 7,000 victories in 2000.

Baze won with 29.1% of his mounts in 1995, 28.3% in both 1996 and 1997, 27.6% in 1988, 28.1% in 1999, and 27.2% in 2000.

The Isaac Murphy Award is named in honor of the legendary 19th century black jockey who won with 44% of his career mounts.

Baze will receive his award later this year.
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