Vicky Baze Returns to Riding at Emerald Downs

Vicky Baze, the third all-time leading female rider with more than 1,500 victories, returned to racing on Sunday at Emerald Downs with a fifth-place finish aboard Crystal Mt. Stevie in a $14,000 allowance race.

Baze, who has not ridden since 2001, was the only woman rider to win riding titles at Longacres and won more races (754) than any other rider in the final eight seasons at Longacres.

She broke into racing as a jockey at Longacres in 1985, riding as Vicky Aragon. Her first win came June 6, 1985 aboard Junior Coffey's Sir Jeppi. She caught fire quickly, winning 79 races in nine weeks.

A week after she lost her bug in 1986 she won six races from nine mounts, and in 1987 she became the first woman to ride in the Longacres Mile.

Baze married Gary Baze, a Washington Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame rider with more than 3,3000 wins, on April 1, 1999.

In the day's feature at Emerald Downs, undefeated 3-year-old Crimson Design won the $40,000 Auburn Stakes. A winner of three in a row, the Washington-bred son of Cisco Road went gate to wire under Juan Gutierrez in 1:09 for the six furlongs.

(Chart, Equibase)