Updated on 09/17/2011 9:56AM

Baze collects five wins on card


ALBANY, Calif. - When you win 400 races a year, winning five in one day becomes, well, almost routine.

That's how Russell Baze started the holiday weekend with five victories on Friday at Golden Gate Fields. He then won the first four races on Saturday's program.

Baze opened Friday's card with a routine wire-to-wire victory aboard Condellone in a 5 1/2-furlong race for $6,250 claimers. Condellone had not won since her debut on July 12, 2001, but was dropping from a $16,000 claimer at Santa Anita.

"They told me she had speed but didn't need the lead. She broke alertly [from the rail] so I decided to go," Baze said.

He won the second race with Anstar, part of a 1-5 entry. Anstar raced three wide down the backstretch and around the second turn, then edged New Advantage by a nose in the one-mile, $25,000 claimer. It was Anstar's second win this year after going 0 for 10 last year.

"I just figured out last race you can't override him," Baze said. "He's easy to override so you just nudge, push, or shake your stick at him."

Baze's biggest payoff ($16.80) came in the third race aboard first-timer Miss Angel Face for Jerry Hollendorfer, his top client.

"I don't think anybody in the barn liked her too much. This was my first time on her, and nobody said much, but she ran a game race," Baze said of the nose victory over Steely Look in a six-furlong, $32,000 maiden claimer for 3-year-old fillies.

Baze sat just behind Steely Look early and won a stretch-long head-and-head duel. "She was getting tired late and didn't like the whip," he said.

Win No. 4 aboard odds-on favorite Bank Shot was easy as he stalked Gift of Honor and pulled away late as the pair ran an unchallenged one-two all the way around the track. "She just stepped off when I asked her," Baze said.

The fifth win came aboard Yankee Pirate in a 1 1/16-mile, $3,200 claimer.

One jump out of the gate, Yankee Pirate stumbled, veering out a bit.

Baze said his immediate thought was that he was "happy just to be on" as Yankee Pirate quickly regained his balance.

Baze's next concern was if the 5-year-old Yankee Pirate, who did grab a quarter, had hurt himself.

"He came underneath me immediately and leaned into the bit," Baze said. "He showed me he wanted to run."

Yankee Pirate was last, but Baze was unconcerned.

"Maybe keeping the horse closer had kept him from finishing," said Baze, explaining he had noticed Laffit Pincay Jr., who rode Yankee Pirate in his previous two wins, had taken him back both times.