12/27/2002 1:00AM

With Baze away, Krigger, others, get some play


ALBANY, Calif. - While Russell Baze was away, the rest of the Golden Gate Fields jockeys came out to play on Thursday.

Baze, the nation's leading rider with 429 victories and Golden Gate Fields's leader by 22 wins less than two months into the meet, rode at Santa Anita on Thursday.

With Baze gone, Kevin Krigger won four races at Golden Gate Fields, the highest single-day win total in his brief career. The four victories gave Krigger, who has ridden here for only one month, 15 for the meet and moved him into a tie for fifth in the jockey standings.

The Golden Gate Fields track was tightened since jockeys refused to ride on Sunday. With little rain between Sunday and Thursday, track superintendent Juan Meza and his crew were able to remove much of the loose material from the surface.

The inside of the track was also protected during workouts with dogs up half way out into track from the rail. As a result, there were safer racing conditions and very fast times.

Krigger was able to take advantage of the surface by keeping his horses to the inside part of that track that seemed most forgiving.

"I figured where the track was playing best," Krigger said. "The inside was where you wanted to be."

After finishing second aboard 3-5 favorite Mist of the Empire in the first race, Krigger hugged the rail and led wire to wire with Ganendyl in the second race. He added victories with Mt. Tallac, Prospecting Guy, and Fleet Coord, who sat off the early pace and then rallied along the rail.

The strong inside bias continued to hold in early races on Friday.

Stakes race in limbo

For the second week in a row, the $60,000-added Moment to Buy Handicap, a six-furlong race for older fillies and mares, attracted only four entrants and couldn't be scheduled. The race, originally slated for Dec. 21, would have taken place on Sunday.

A fifth runner was briefly entered, only to be declared. "It's disappointing. We gave it another shot, and it didn't go," racing secretary Greg Brent said.

Brent said no decision had been made on whether the race would be rescheduled. Another sprint stakes, the $60,000-added Orinda Handicap at six furlongs, is scheduled for Jan. 25.

Replay revision

"The Golden Gate Fields Report" replay show, airing on Channel 26 in the Bay Area, begins a new weekend schedule on Sunday.

The replay show will no longer be shown on Saturday, but it will be extended to a one-hour format on Sundays at 5 p.m. to show replays from both Saturday and Sunday.