North America’s top winning jockey Russell Baze retires

Photo by Cindy Pierson Dulay

Photo by Cindy Pierson Dulay

Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze has announced his retirement, effective immediately.

According to Equibase statistics, Baze won 12,842 races in North America, more than any other jockey. A native of Vancouver, B.C., Baze began his career in the Pacific Northwest, winning his first race Oct. 28, 1974 at Yakima Meadows. He posted his final win Saturday in the 10th race at Golden Gate Fields.

Baze’s 54 riding titles at Golden Gate Fields include the championship he won during the recently concluded 2015-16 Winter/Spring Meet. The 57-year-old won a total of 5,765 races at Golden Gate Fields during his career.

“All of us at The Stronach Group would like to congratulate Russell Baze on his stellar career and offer our best wishes as he begins his retirement,” said Joe Morris, Senior Vice President of West Coast Operations. “For decades Russell dominated the jockey standings at Golden Gate Fields and other Northern California tracks. His 12,842 wins in North America is a record that may never be broken.”

Baze overtook Laffit Pincay, Jr. as North America’s top rider by wins when he recorded career victory No. 9,531 on Dec. 1, 2006 at Bay Meadows. He is the only jockey to win 400 or more races for seven straight years (1992-1998).

Baze’s top mounts include Hawkster, Itsallgreektome, Soviet Problem, Event of the Year, Lost in the Fog, Bold Chieftain, Smiling Tiger and Shared Belief.

Baze was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2012. His fellow jockeys honored him with the George Woolf Memorial Award in 2002.

Russell Baze’s career statistics
Birthdate: August 7, 1958
Birthplace: Vancouver, B.C.
Starts: 53,578
Wins: 12,842
Seconds: 9,600
Thirds: 7,855
Earnings: $199,334,219

Russell Baze’s career statistics at Golden Gate Fields
Starts: 21,983
Wins: 5,765
Seconds: 4,267
Thirds: 3,383
Earnings: $88,975,792

Notable Northern California Stakes Wins:

Bay Meadows H.: 2008 Bold Chieftain; 2005 Adreamisborn; 2001 Super Quercus; 1995 Caesour; 1982 Super Moment
California Derby: 2014 Exit Stage Left; 2013 Zeewat; 2009 Chocolate Candy; 2006 Cause to Believe; 2004 Trieste’s Honor; 1999 Red Sky’s; 1981 Always a Cinch
El Camino Real Derby: 2014 Tamarando; 2011 Silver Medallion; 2010 Connemara; 2009 Chocolate Candy; 2007 Bwana Bull; 2006 Cause to Believe; 2005 Uncle Denny; 1998 Event of the Year; 1984 French Legionaire
Golden Gate Handicap/Turf Stakes: 2009 Spring House; 2005 Adreamisborn; 2000 Deploy Venture; 1982 Regal Bearing
San Francisco Mile: 2010 Bold Chieftain

Grade 1 Stakes Wins:
Ancient Title: 2010 Smiling Tiger
King’s Bishop: 2005 Lost in the Fog
Oak Tree Inv.: 1989 Hawkster; 1984 Both Ends Burning
Santa Monica: 1991 Devil’s Orchid

Victory Number; Date; Track; Winning Mount
12,000; July 7, 2013; Pleasanton; Handful of Pearls
11,000; Aug. 14, 2010; Santa Rosa; Separate Forest
10,000; Feb. 1, 2008; Golden Gate Fields; Two Step Cat
9,000; June 2, 2005; Golden Gate Fields; Queen of the Hunt
8,000; Oct. 26, 2002; Bay Meadows; Ourwhistlebritches
7,000; July 4, 2000; Pleasanton; This Is the Moment
6,000; Dec. 3, 1997; Golden Gate Fields; Clover Hunter
5,000; July 29, 1995; Santa Rosa; Cyrus Says
4,000; March 3, 1993; Golden Gate Fields; Frank Musso
3,000; Dec. 9, 1988; Hollywood Park; Hagley’s Lyon
1: Oct. 28, 1974; Yakima Meadows; Oregon Warrior