11/06/2002 12:00AM

Dominant duo still flourishing


ALBANY, Calif. - Was the first race Wednesday on opening day at Golden Gate Fields an omen of things to come at the current meeting?

Yes, but it didn't reveal much.

Projected from the first race: Jerry Hollendorfer will be the meet's leading trainer and Russell Baze the leading jockey. Of course, that prediction would probably have been made even if northern California's leading trainer-rider duo had not won the 5 1/2-furlong, $5,000 claimer with Brite Bounty, who was dropping from the $12,500 level.

Hollendorfer extended his streak of consecutive training titles at Bay Meadows to 25 with 48 victories at the fall meeting, which concluded Sunday. He has won 22 straight titles at Golden Gate Fields.

Hollendorfer, of course, has more horses than any other trainer. That allows him the luxury of running horses, such as Brite Bounty, where they have their best chance to win without fear of ending up with an empty stall in his barn.

Although Hollendorfer always starts more horses than any other trainer, he manages to maintain a high winning percentage. At Bay Meadows, his win percentage was 26 (48 of 185).

The leading percentage trainer was Bud Klokstad, who won with 38 percent of his starters after arriving part way through the meet from Emerald Downs in Washington.

Among trainers stabled at Bay Meadows the entire meet, Bill Morey had the highest win percentage of 30 (17 of 57) as well as in-the-money percentage (68).

Baze has led every northern California meeting he has ridden at full-time since the 1980-81 Bay Meadows meeting.

Being Hollendorfer's No. 1 man is a major advantage, and the imminent departure of Jason Lumpkins for Kentucky should make Baze odds-on in the jockey race.

Bay Meadows champions

Ninebanks was selected the Bay Meadows horse of the year, based on his two victories and a narrow second to David Copperfield in the Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Handicap, which was voted the track's race of the year.

Many of the individual winners ran only one time at the track, including Suances, the best grass horse and older horse; Mellow Fellow, best sprinter; Royal Gem, best 3-year-old colt or gelding; and Only the Best, best 2-year-old colt or gelding.

A B Noodle was voted top 3-year-old filly and top 3-year-old. Viansa Ossidiana was best 2-year-old filly and 2-year-old.

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