Baze Youngest Since 'Shoe' to Win Hollywood Riding Title

Baze Youngest Since 'Shoe' to Win Hollywood Riding Title
Photo: Benoit
Michael Baze, shown with Hollywood Juvenile winner Salute the Sarge, became the youngest jockey to win a riding title at Hollywood's spring/summer meet since Shoemaker.
(from Hollywood Park release)

Twenty-year-old Michael Baze became the youngest jockey to win a riding title at Hollywood Park’s spring/summer meet since Bill Shoemaker in 1950, riding 73 winners at the 63-day stand.

Baze entered the final day four wins ahead of 17-year-old apprentice sensation Joe Talamo and rode a pair of winners to seal his first riding title.

“It’s just unbelievable,” he said. “I had a goal to be a leading rider, but I never expected it to be so soon. And to do it in Southern California, one of the best jockey colonies in the country, is just amazing."
           
While Talamo was unable to match 17-year-old Ferril Zufelt as the lone apprentice to win a spring/summer title in 1941, he rode 68 winners, second most by an apprentice in track history. Steve Valdez set the record of 71 in 1973.

Shoemaker was 19 when he won his first Hollywood Park spring/summer riding title.

Jeff Mullins and Doug O’Neill, meanwhile, tied for leading trainer honors with 26 wins apiece.

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