Russell A. Baze is a successful horse racing jockey. He holds the record for the most race wins in North American horse racing history, and is a member of the United States Racing Hall of Fame.
Born to an American family, Baze's father, Joe Baze, is a former jockey and trainer who was competing at Exhibition Park in Vancouver at the time of his birth giving him dual Canadian/American citizenship.
Baze began his racing career in Walla Walla, Washington in 1974 and won his first race that fall at the Yakima racetrack. By the early 1980s he was making a name for himself, winning racing titles at northern California racetracks including a victory in the 1981 California Derby. Baze went on to lead United States thoroughbred horse racing in victories ten times. He has won 36 riding titles at Bay Meadows racetrack in San Mateo, California and 27 titles at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, California.
After winning 400 or more races in a year for four consecutive years, Baze was honored with a special Eclipse Award in 1995. Since then he has won 400 or more races in a year seven additional times; no other jockey has accomplished that feat more than three times.
In 1999, Baze was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and in 2002, he was voted the recipient of the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award by his peers. Since the inauguration of the Isaac Murphy Award in 1995, presented annually by the National Turf Writers Association to the jockey with the highest winning percentage in North America, Baze has won it 13 of 14 years, coming in second in 2004.
Baze holds the Santa Anita Park track record for 1 1/2 miles on turf set on October 14, 1989, aboard the 3-year-old colt, Hawkster.
In the fourth race at Bay Meadows on December 1, 2006, Baze set the world's all-time record for most career victories, passing jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., by winning race 9,531 aboard Butterfly Belle.
After briefly losing the all time lead for career wins to South American jockey Jorge Ricardo (that was diagnosed with cancer) Baze reclaimed the title on May 16, 2009 and continues to hold the record for the most wins by any jockey.
Among other noteworthy accomplishments, during the two days of October 17 and 18, 2007, Baze won eleven races.
Ten Thousand Wins
On February 1, 2008, at Golden Gate Fields, Baze rode Two Step Cat to a photo finish victory in the third race to become the first North American rider to win 10,000 races.
Baze and his wife Tami have three daughters, Trinity, Brandi and Cassie, and one son, Gable. Trinity is married to jockey Kyle Kaenel.