Joe Baze Heads Washington Hall of Fame Group

He becomes the third member of state's most famous racing family to be honored.

Joe Baze, a patriarch of the Baze racing dynasty, heads the 2010 class voted into the Washington Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame.

Baze, trainer Bill McMeans, breeder Les Turner, and the racehorse Biggs were all voted into the Hall of Fame by a panel composed of the WTOBA, HBPA, Emerald Downs and the media.

The induction ceremonies will follow the races Aug. 21, on the eve of the 75th Longacres Mile (gr. III).

In addition, James Seabeck will be honored for "Lifetime Achievement" in the Washington Thoroughbred industry.

Baze becomes the third member of the state’s most famous racing family to make the Hall of Fame. Son Russell, the nation’s all-time winningest rider, and nephew Gary, the state’s all-time winningest rider, were elected in 2004 and 2003, respectively. Joe Baze was an outstanding jockey in his own right while winning titles at Longacres, Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields. He scored a Longacres Mile victory aboard Pitch Out in 1971 and set a world record for six furlongs (1:07 1/5) on Grey Papa in 1972. Paul Frey, Gallyn Mitchell and Merlin Volzke were the other jockey finalists.

McMeans developed six Gottstein Futurity winners, including an unprecedented three straight from 1970-72. In 1974 he saddled 6-year-old Times Rush to a victory in the Longacres Mile. Cecil Jolly, Tim McCanna and Larry and Sharon Ross also were finalists in the trainer category.

Turner, the proprietor of Rural Land Farm in Quincy, finished in the top 10 in Washington breeding 16 consecutive years (1963-79) and also stood the prolific Strong Ruler, seven times the leading stallion in the state of Washington. The pre-1970 breeding category also included John Carlson, George Newell and A.E. & A.J. Penney

Biggs won 18 races, more than $305,000, and for many years was the state’s leading money-earner. Born in 1960, the Washington-bred by Domingo won five stakes including the $100,000 Californian at Hollywood Park in 1967, and three stakes at Santa Anita from 1965-68. Delicate Vine, Military Hawk and Pataha Prince were also finalists in the horse category.