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Russell Baze

Russell Baze
Induction Year: 
Aug. 7, 1958, Vancouver, British Columbia
Career Years: 
Number of Mounts: 
Number of Winners: 
Winning Percentage: 

Tab Wrapper


Russell Baze concluded a remarkable 42-year career in June of 2016 with 12,842 career wins, more than any jockey in North American racing history.


Baze, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, began his professional riding career in 1974 at the age of 16. He won his first race on Oct. 28 that year at Yakima Meadows aboard a horse trained by his father, who was a former jockey. Baze went on to win 54 riding titles at Golden Gate Fields and 5,765 races overall at the track. On Feb. 1, 2008, Baze became the first North American rider to win 10,000 career races when he hit the milestone at Golden Gate.


At Bay Meadows, Baze won 40 riding titles, including every meet from 1981 until the track closed in 2008. On Dec. 1, 2006, Baze passed Hall of Famer Laffit Pincay. Jr. for the all-time record of wins for a North American jockey when he rode his 9,531st winner, Butterfly Belle, at Bay Meadows.


Baze led all North American jockeys in wins 13 times (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014). In 1994, he was voted a Special Eclipse Award for having won 400 or more races in four consecutive years. Overall, Baze had 13 years in which he won 400 or more races, including a career-high of 448 in 1995.


Notable horses that Baze rode included Eclipse Award winners Lost in the Fog and Shared Belief, as well as standouts Hawkster, Summer Hill, Smiling Tiger, Lexicon, Cause to Believe, Tricky Trevor, Bold Chieftain, Chocolate Candy, Lite Light and Both Ends Burning. Baze’s Grade 1 wins included the Ancient Title, King’s Bishop, Santa Monica Handicap and Oak Tree Invitational Handicap. Overall, Baze won a total of 97 graded stakes.


Baze was presented the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 2002.