10/17/2011 8:55AM

Fresno: Baze sweeps stakes with Bold Chieftain, Longview Drive


The Big Fresno Fair’s richest day of racing in track history turned into the Russell Baze Show as he guided Bold Chieftain to the 14th stakes victory of his career in the $62,600 Bull Dog and 2-year-old Longview Drive to his second straight stakes victory in the $75,960 Charlie Palmer Futurity. Baze won four races on the 12-race card, which offered a Fresno record $248,100 in purses.

Bold Chieftain ($4.20) turned the tables on odds-on Uh Oh Bango, who defeated him by a head earlier this year in the Grade 3 Berkeley at Golden Gate Fields. Bold Chieftain won the 1 1/8-mile Bull Dog by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:50.19.

Longview Drive ($3.80) won the 1 1/16-mile Charlie Palmer Futurity by 1 1/4 lengths over Marshall Marini in his first start since winning the Cavonnier at Santa Rosa on Aug. 14.

Bold Chieftain sat close to the tepid pace set by Dos Eqkeys in the Bull Dog. Uh Oh Bango, Aaron Gryder aboard, was second with Bold Chieftain third in the field of five. Bold Chieftain inched closer while three wide on the second turn and pulled clear in the stretch.

“The race set up like we thought it would,” said Baze. “I sat close, and he finished like he usually does.”

Trainer Bill Morey Jr., who is also a co-breeder and co-owner of the 8-year-old Bold Chieftain, said: “I just told Russell it looks like a paceless race. It’s all up to you. It looked like he and Aaron were playing chess out there. He ran pretty good, and we evened the score after that last loss.”

Bold Chieftain earned $40,100, lifting his lifetime earnings to $1,643,171 with his 18th victory in 45 starts.

Baze said Longview Drive’s victory was no surprise.

“He’s very talented,” Baze said of Longview Drive, a Pulpit colt owned by Steve Beneto and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer.
“He goofed off a bit turning for home. There are a lot of distractions there for a young horse with rides near the fence, but he overcame it.”

Runner-up Marshal Marini was no match in the lane for Longview Drive, who covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.50.

The victory, worth $45,100, was the third straight for Longview Drive since he ran second behind the future stakes winner Sherman Bartlebort in his debut. A$175,000 yearling purchase, Longview Drive has now earned $98,000.