05/10/2006 12:00AM

Baze will stick with Tiz Us

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - "Follow the money" was the advice given during the Watergate scandal.

"Follow the jockey" is the advice for Friday's feature at Bay Meadows.

Russell Baze, Bay Meadows's leading jockey the past 27 meets - as well as the past 35 he has participated in here - has ridden four of the five entrants in a $40,000 claimer at 1 1/16 miles.

That he chooses to ride Tiz Us, who has won 3 of his past 4 starts and has a solid series of works since he won his last start on March 22, provides a strong clue as to which runner may be the one to beat.

, unbeaten in two tries here, won his first two starts of the year in a $40,000 starter allowance and a first-level allowance race here.

Forced to steady down the backstretch, he fell out of contention against better in his next start and was virtually eased. Tiz Us came back to score a narrow victory in a $32,000 claimer and has a steady series of works since that race.

He has tactical speed and should be positioned perfectly here.

Baze rode to a victory on Jan. 5 here in a $32,000 claimer. Like Tiz Us, Me My Mine has won 3 of 4 starts this year, with his lone loss coming at this level here on Feb. 2.

Baze also rode , 0 for 4 this year, in his last victory on Dec. 17. Ghost Actor missed by a nose at this level here on Feb. 2 and has been meeting better since.

Baze also rode Kuhl'n'clever early in his career.

He has never been aboard Soccer Dan, talented enough to have beaten Grade 1 winner Lava Man early in their careers, but his cousin, Gary Baze, rode Soccer Dan in a pair of Emerald Downs stakes two years ago. Soccer Dan did little against a tough field on the turf in his April 29 comeback but should be more competitive as he drops with a race under his belt.

Baze, a member of racing's Hall of Fame and on target to become the sport's winningest rider later this year, finished second in the standings at the recent Golden Gate Fields meeting to talented apprentice Martin Garcia, 109-94. But Baze's win percentage of 30 percent and his 69 percent in-the-money rate were the highest of any Golden Gate Fields rider.