Russell Blaze

Russell Blaze

Baze to Ride Shut It Down in Queen's Plate

All-time leading rider accepts mount for trainer Lorne Richards in June 21 event.

(from Woodbine report)

Fifty-year-old Russell Baze, the world's winningest jockey, has been recruited by trainer Lorne Richards to ride K.K. Sangara's Shut It Down in the $1 million Queen's Plate at Woodbine June 21.

The Northern California-based Baze last rode at Woodbine in 2003 but also appeared in the 1999 Queen's Plate, finishing eighth to Woodcarver aboard Dave the Comet. The Queen's Plate is Canada's most prestigious race for 3-year-olds.

As of June 13, Baze had notched 10,554 victories and over $162 million in purses, in a storied career which began in the mid 1970s. 

The Vancouver, British Columbia native has already been inducted into the U.S. Horse Racing Hall of Fame. He has led the continent in wins on 10 occasions and currently is once again the North American leader with 195 wins.

Shut It Down will be the first Plate entrant for Sangara and Richards, who have enjoyed great success this decade at Woodbine with runners such as multiple Sovereign Award winner Financingavailable.

A gelded son of Porto Foricos, Shut It Down has earned $193,985 so far in his eight-race career, including two victories. Last year, he scored in the Frost King Stakes. This season, he opened with a second-place finish to Plate rival El Brujo in the seven-furlong Queenston Stakes, then finished third in a 1 1/16-mile allowance event on May 22.

"(Before the Queenston), I didn't do a whole lot with him," explained Richards. "He ran well off what I'd done. I was confident he could step forward off that race. In his last race, though, he was boxed in when it came time to run. It just wasn't the greatest race. But timing-wise, I liked it better than going in the Plate Trial," which was May 31.

In other Queen's Plate news, jockey Mike Smith will ride Mr. Foricos Twou for trainer Catherine Day-Phillips.