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Baze Wins Four Races On Closing Day To Earn 43rd Career Riding Title At Golden Gate Fields
Jockey Russell Baze won four races on the closing-day card of the summer meeting to earn his 43rd career riding title at Golden Gate Fields Sunday.
Julien Couton held a 24-23 advantage over Baze in the jockey standings heading into the finale but the Frenchman went 0-for-5 while Baze went 4-for-7 to finish the 17-day meeting with 27 victories. Baze won the riding championship despite missing two days of the short meeting due to out-of-town engagements.
Baze scored Sunday with Amorously ($2.80) in the first race, Irish-bred Sir Al ($8.00) in the fourth, Xcuse Me Monto ($8.40) in the fifth, and Imperative ($6.20) in the seventh.
There was no drama in the race for leading trainer honors as Jerry Hollendorfer saddled 14 winners to easily claim his 41st career conditioning crown at Golden Gate Fields. William E. Morey, who teamed with Baze for the victories with Sir Al and Xcuse Me Monto, finished second in the trainer standings with nine wins.
Jockey Update -- Jockey Pablo Flores and apprentice Irving Orozco were both off their mounts Sunday after sustaining injuries in a spill in Saturday’s sixth race at Golden Gate Fields.
Flores sustained a severe concussion and spent the night at Highland Hospital in Oakland. Dr. David Seftel, track physician at Golden Gate Fields, said Flores underwent a head CT scan and the tests were negative. “If there are no complications, Pablo should be able to resume riding in a week,” said Seftel, who added that he expected Flores to be released from Highland Sunday afternoon.
Orozco, who was sent to Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley for X-rays, fractured the scaphoid bone in his right wrist and will be out “at least three to six weeks,” said Seftel.
The accident occurred when Bye Bye See Ya, ridden by Flores, steadied and fell after being put in tight quarters by race runner-up Diamond Geezah, who drifted in just inside the eighth pole. Mettler Station, ridden by Orozco, couldn’t avoid the fallen Bye Bye See Ya and tripped over his rival.
Bye Bye See Ya and Mettler Station both quickly scrambled back to their feet and ran off. Diamond Geezah was disqualified from second by the stewards and declared unplaced in the race.
Jockey Frank Alvarado, who rode Diamond Geezah, was handed a 10-day suspension by the board of stewards Sunday for his “failure to make the proper effort to maintain a straight course in the stretch and causing interference.” Alvarado will serve his suspension on the following racing days: Sept. 23, 27, 28, 29, 30, and Oct. 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8).
Fair Racing -- Thoroughbred racing moves to the fair circuit for the next four weeks. The San Joaquin County Fair in Stockton will conduct its meeting Sept. 20-30 and the Big Fresno Fair will follow with a meeting that runs from Oct. 4-14.
Live racing will return to Golden Gate Fields on Thursday, Oct. 18, when the track opens its fall season. In the meantime, the track will be open for simulcast wagering on action from across the country.
Golden Gate Fields is a Stronach Group company, North America's leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its Adena Springs operation. The company owns and operates AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology, and XpressBet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horseracing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.