Russell Baze - The Racing Career
From Thomas Webb: December 2017
When you look at North American horse racing history, the iconic Baze must come to mind. He is one of the most decorated Jockeys who still to this day holds the record for the most race wins in North American horse racing history. Baze is also now a member of the United States Racing Hall of Fame. So what are the statistics behind his incredible career? Check out the latest racing betting as the 2018 Cheltenham festival is now just a few months away.
The Hall of Famer was always one to be down to earth and far from flashy; a true professional. His retirement was no different as he jumped off Wahine Warrior following guiding her to a second place finish. Baze then proceeded to say 'that's it, I'm going to retire'. The rider finished his successful career that stemmed nearly 42 years with a record breaking 12,842 wins.
Baze retired back in 2016 and goes down as one of the most successful and consistent athletes in history. This is backed up in the fact as from between 1980 and 2015 he rode over 1,000 winners year in year out without fail. This only came to an end in 2016 as he only rode 449 rides but still managed an incredible 118 winners. Throughout his career he made an astonishing 53,578 starts which will more than likely never be broken again.
The rider ended his stunning career with earnings of $199,334,219. This shows his success certainly paid off as including the 12,842 winners he also had 9,600 seconds and 7,855 thirds. This meant an average of $3,720 per ride over those 42 or so years.
He of course through his ability and success was able to ride many top horses over the years. His highest earner was Bold Chieftain as he picked up just under $1.5m through the horses career. The horse was a Grade 2 winner with the biggest win coming in the San Francisco Mile. Many group 1's were achieved including the 2005 Eclipse Award winner for Champion Sprinter in Lost in the Fog. Baze rode her over her incredible career that resulted in 11 victories in her 14 starts.
What made Baze so successful was his continued drive and unrivalled work ethic. This is shown in the fact he was a family man with four children while continually riding day in day out. Russell was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1999 before also entering the Canadian Racing Hall of Fame in 2012.
His ever popular personality meant he was voted by his peers for the George Woolf Award in 2002 as well as being honoured with a special Eclipse Award in 1995. This prestigious award came for the fact of being the first jockey ever to win 400 or more races in a year for over 4 years in succession. The incredible fact of this is Baze did this on 13 occasions just showing the gulf he had over his North American rivals.