Baze Goes 5-for-5, Gets First for Patterson

Hall of Fame rider perfect at Golden Gate, including initial win for Bill Patterson.

Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze went 5-for-5 at Golden Gate Fields April 19, a day after he was blanked at the San Francisco Bay Area oval.

Baze won the first race with Win It to Be In ($6.60) (VIDEO), the third with Picture Perfect ($4) (VIDEO), the fourth with My Coastie ($12.80) (VIDEO), the sixth with She's All Yours ($3.40) (VIDEO), and the seventh with Big Jim ($7) (VIDEO). Baze, who tops the rider standings at the winter/spring meeting with 105 victories, ran his career win total to 11,909.

His last win of the day aboard Big Jim gave Bill Patterson, who saddled countless winners as an assistant trainer during the past three decades, his first training victory in his own name. Patterson recently took over the stable of his father, Dennis Patterson, a well-respected horseman who died April 4 at age 77.  Big Jim’s win came just two days after funeral services were held.

"My big concern was not breaking up Baze’s perfect game," quipped Bill Patterson before taking a moment to reflect on his first win and the barn’s initial victory since the passing of his father. "It’s just nice to get over the hump for the family. My mom (Theresa) was really pulling for me. And it was also nice to win for this owner (Joe Buccola), because he really loved my dad.”

Big Jim, owned in partnership by Joe and Brock Buccola, was Bill Patterson’s third starter. Patterson’s first two starters, Not to Notty and Airplane Mode, finished second and third, respectively, in races at Golden Gate Fields April 13.