01/29/2008 12:00AM

Baze putting milestone to good use


ALBANY, Calif. - Jockey Russell Baze will have five mounts Thursday at Golden Gate Fields as he zeroes in on another milestone. Baze is just three victories shy of 10,000 wins for his career.

He will be the first North American rider to reach that figure. The Brazilian jockey Jorge Ricardo recorded his 10,000th victory on Jan. 9 in Argentina.

Baze will ride Count Coup in a starter allowance at 1 1/16 miles in the third race, Northland Glory in a $16,000 claimer at one mile in the fourth, Coronado's Way in a $4,000 claimer at one mile in the sixth, Shining Day in a $25,000 claimer at one mile in the seventh, and Judged in a $20,000 maiden claimer at six furlongs in the eighth.

He may have best chance with his final two mounts.

Just as they did when Baze surpassed Laffit Pincay Jr. as the world's winningest rider on Dec. 1, 2006, Golden Gate Fields and Bay Meadows plan a special presentation to commemorate the feat.

Baze came up with an idea that will make the milestone even more special. The two tracks will donate a total of $10,000 in Baze's name to two racetrack charities, the Racetrack Chaplaincy and the Winners Foundation.

"They asked me what I wanted, but I don't need anything," Baze said. "They wanted to get me a computer, but I was already getting one. The idea was brought up about making a donation to charity, and I really liked that.

"The Racetrack Chaplaincy is very special to me, and the Winners Foundation does very good work in an outreach to people here."

Emergency measures in blackout

Thanks to emergency generators and a football field's worth of extension cords, Golden Gate Fields was able to save its Monday card. A car accident on a nearby street knocked down two power poles, causing a loss of power at the track and delaying the first race.

Generators were able to power the mutuel machines and other equipment, but there was no way to get power to the photo-finish camera. The stewards said the card could not be run without the photo-finish equipment.

Golden Gate Fields officials were able to use more than 300 feet of extension cords to provide power to the roof for the photo-finish camera, public address systems, and the television monitors used by the stewards in reviewing races.

The tote board didn't work, but Carl Coughlin, a member of the Golden Gate marketing department, was able to get win odds off the automated ticket machines and relay them to announcer Michael Wrona, who kept bettors updated.

The track allowed fans from the general admission areas to the clubhouse area, where there was some power, but concession stands were hindered by the lack of power and could not serve hot items.

Tuesday's training did not begin until 7 a.m. because electricity had not been fully restored.

Yankee Bravo a Triple Crown nominee

Trainer Patrick Gallagher said he has nominated the California Derby winner Yankee Bravo to the Triple Crown and to the Santa Anita Derby, which makes him eligible for other 3-year-old Derby preps at Santa Anita. Yankee Bravo, a son of Yankee Gentleman who began his career in Great Britain, remained undefeated in three starts with his one-length victory in Sunday's $150,000 California Derby on the Tapeta main track.

The late-running Yankee Bravo had to overcome traffic problems at the quarter pole.

The runner-up, Cafe Tortoni, also had traffic problems. Kay Cooper, assistant to Cafe Tortoni's trainer, Jim Penney, said she thought the horse might have been a little closer to the winner with a cleaner trip.

Cooper said the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Bay Meadows on March 8 was a possible target for Cafe Tortoni, although he might be brought back to his Washington base to prepare for Canadian races.

* Eight 3-year-old fillies were entered in Saturday's $100,000 California Oaks at 1 1/16 miles, but one of the favorites, Onebadkitty, will be scratched, according to trainer Brian Koriner. She suffered a minor injury following a Saturday workout, he said.