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Russell Baze

In The News:

 Biography, Highlights and Media:  

  • Height: 5'4"
  • Weight: 113
  • Born: Aug. 7, 1958, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Residence: Woodside, Calif.
  • Family: Wife Tami, daughters Trinity, Brandi, Cassie, son Gable.
  • Through Oct. 15, 2009, Baze, the winningest rider in North American history with over 10,000 career victories, ranked among the top 100 riders nationally in purses won with $5,206,672. He led all riders in North America by races won with 328 from 1036 mounts and was winning at a 32% clip, finishing in the money 70% of the time. 
  •  Won his 10,000th race on Friday, Feb. 1, 2008 in a photo finish aboard Two Step Cat at Golden Gate. He became the first North American jockey to reach that milestone. 
  • Top mounts of 2009 include Chocolate Candy (G3 El Camino Real Derby, California Derby), Spring House (G3 Golden Gate Fields Turf Stakes), El Gato Malo (McCann's Mojave Stakes), Bold Chieftain (California Cup Classic Handicap, Governor's Handicap), and Will O Way (California Oaks).
  • Has led the nation in victories 10 times – in 2008 (403 wins), 2007 (399) 2005 (375), 2002 (431), 2000 (412), 1996 (415), 1995 (448), 1994 (415), 1993 (410), and 1992 (433).
  • On Friday, December 1, 2006, he became the world's winningest rider with his 9,531st win aboard Butterfly Belle at Bay Meadows.
  • Surpassed Bill Shoemaker Jan. 22, 2005 to move into second place all-time in career victories (8,834) behind Laffit Pincay Jr. who holds the record with 9,530 wins.
  • Will always be associated with 2005 Eclipse sprint champion Lost in the Fog, whose life was cut short by cancer in September of 2006. Baze rode Lost in the Fog  in all but one of his races, including victories in G1 King's Bishop, G3 Bay Shore, G2 Swale and G2 Carry Back stakes.
  • Twice won the G1 Oak Tree Invitational, with Hawkster in 1999 and Both Ends Burning in 1984 … Other top victories came in the Jim Beam (Event of the Year, 1998), Oak Leaf (Lite Light, 1990), Del Mar Debutante (Rue de Palm, 1989) and Longacres Mile (Adreamisborn, 2004; Sky Jack, 2003; and Simply Majestic, 1988) … Won the El Camino Real Derby four times. Other major horses ridden have included Lexicon, Cause to Believe and Trickey Trevor.
  • Winner of the 2002 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, a prestigious honor voted on by his fellow riders.
  • The perennial leading rider at Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields, he has won over 30 riding championships at the former and more than 25 at the latter. Most of his success has been garnered on the North California circuit with longtime agent Ray Harris, his manager since 1979 ... His success is also closely linked to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, the all-time leading trainer at Bay Meadows and Golden Gate.
  • Inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1999.
  • Honored with a special Eclipse Award in 1995 for being the first jockey ever to win 400 or more races in a year for four consecutive years.
  • Set a Northern California record for most victories on a single card when he won with seven of his nine mounts at Golden Gate Fields on April 16, 1992.
  • Baze has “lots of uncles and cousins working on gates, shoeing horses, training horses,” he says … Although he was born in Canada, Baze is the son of two American citizens and is an American by birth; at the time he was born, his father was riding at Exhibition Park … Began riding at Yakima Meadows in 1974; his first winner, Oregon Warrior, was trained by his father.
  • Comes from a family of horsemen, including his father Joe, who won riding championships at Bay Meadows, Golden Gate Fields and Longacres before becoming a trainer ... Younger brother Dale was a jockey but has retired and is now an exercise rider ... One cousin, Gary Baze, is a Washington (State) Hall of Fame jockey, and two second cousins are riders, Tyler Baze and Michael Baze, both established with the Southern California colony.

Breeders' Cup Record

1990Juvenile FilliesLite Light12th
2005SprintLost in the Fog7th

NOTE: Stats include North American and selected international races. Click here to view selected international race list.

Biographies on jockeys, trainers and owners are from the Breeders' Cup World Championships events from 2001 through 2009, and are intended as informational resources. Biographies will be updated if an individual is again a participant in the Breeders' Cup World Championships.

Biographies are available for most horses appearing in the top 100 money earnings list, and/or for those who are frequently making headlines in the news starting with the 2006 Triple Crown season.


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