Horse racing fans often have a favorite jockey that they like place their bets on. It may be a well- known rider who traverses the country riding in major stakes races or a local rider on a hot streak. In discussions of who is the greatest jockey of all time, names like Bill Shoemaker, Laffit Pincay, Eddie Arcaro or Gary Stevens often come to mind. Many casual fans of horseracing, however, are unaware of the winningest jockey of all time, Russell Baze.
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Russell Avery Baze, now 56 years young, is still setting records in the saddle. No rider in history has won more races than the Canadian born Baze. His illustrious career began over four decades ago at the age of 16 in Walla Walla, Washington.
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When Russell Baze broke Laffit Pincay’s record for most career wins, Pincay was present to congratulate him after the race. Pincay later called Baze the “greatest jockey of all time.” This is typical of Laffit Pincay’s classy demeanor. Many argue that Pincay earned his wins in horseracing’s biggest events, thereby making his record superior to that of Russell Baze.
Baze led the nation by number of races won five years in a row from 1992 through 1996. He went on to top the list five more times in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2008. After winning more than 400 races a year for four consecutive years he was honored with a special Eclipse Award in 1995. Since then, he won 400 plus races a year seven additional times. No other rider has ever accomplished this feat more than three times.
In 1999 Baze was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. In 2002 he was the recipient of the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Award. The National Turf Writers’ Association created the Isaac Murphy Award in 1995 for the jockey with the highest winning percentage every year. Russell Baze has won this every year except one, in 2004, when he was second.
Baze chose to stay close to home throughout his riding career where he has dominated the Northern California circuit. His family home is in Woodside, an area of California often described as one of the wealthiest communities in the United States. He has ventured out of California from time to time, winning races like the New Orleans Handicap, Jim Beam Stakes, Churchill Downs Handicap and the Oklahoma Derby, to name a few.
To date, Baze has won 12,543 races, placed second 9,354 times and 7,679 thirds. His mounts have earned just shy of $195,000,000. So far this year, Baze is winning 25% of his races and finishing in the top three an incredible 64%. He has no plans to retire any time soon.
If you want to follow the career of Russell Baze, be sure to sign up for an account at BetAmerica. You will be able to watch and wager on all of the California racetracks where Baze competes! You can also check other Racebook reviews here.