Russell Baze, during Hall of Fame induction.

Russell Baze, during Hall of Fame induction.


Baze Wins 2003 Isaac Murphy Award

ssaac MurphyJockey Russell Baze has won the Isaac Murphy Award presented by the National Turf Writers Association for the ninth consecutive year. The award, given to the jockey with the highest winning percentage (with a minimum of 500 mounts) during the year, was inaugurated in 1995 and has been presented to Baze each year since its inception.

The difference for 2003 was that Baze topped 30% winners for the first time in the history of the award. In 2003, the Northern California-based rider won 410 races from 1,359 mounts, 30.17%, according to Daily Racing Form statistics. Ramon Dominguez ranked second, at 27.84%.

Rounding out the top 10 were Jerry Bailey (26.55%), Javier Santiago (25.65%), Juan Diaz Rodriguez (24.47%), John Velazquez (23.36%), John Grabowski (23.15%), Joseph Judice (22.64%), Pedro Alvarado (22.50%), and Pat Day (21.83%).

Baze has ridden 400 or more winners 11 of the past 12 years. He would have likely reached that level all 12 years, but an injury in 1999 caused him to miss part of the year.

He was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in 1999, and during his career has ridden 8,448 winners.