Russell Baze Fractures Collarbone in Fall

Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze, who is leading the nation in victories this year, fractured his left collarbone Wednesday in a bad fall during the third race at Golden Gate Fields.

Baze was thrown hard to the track when his mount, Cowboy Badgett, fractured his left front ankle and fell at the quarter pole. Cowboy Badgett was challenging front-runner and eventual winner Swiss Steak for the lead when he broke down.

The injury comes at a poor time for Baze, who was looking forward to riding the undefeated 3-year-old colt Lost in the Fog in the $200,000 Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Belmont Park Saturday. Jockey Edgar Prado was named by trainer Greg Gilchrist as a replacement for Baze on Lost in the Fog.

The 46-year-old Baze is the second all-time leading rider in Thoroughbred racing history with 9,010 victories.  He earned his 9,000th win June 2 at Golden Gate Fields.

Baze has a nation-leading 205 winners in 2005. As of June 6, he was 72 clear of his nearest rival, Rafael Bejarano.

He was taken to Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley for X-rays.

"He sustained a complete fracture of the left collarbone," said Dr. David Seftel, track physician at Golden Gate Fields. "He may have some rib fractures on the left side. He also has a contusion on his right forehead, bruising of his hips and pain in his left ankle."

Seftel estimated that Baze will be sidelined for four to eight weeks.

It's the second fractured collarbone in 18 months for Baze, who broke his right collarbone on Nov. 30, 2003. Baze missed eight weeks of action with that injury.

Cowboy Badgett, a 3-year-old gelding, was euthanized.