02/01/2006 12:00AM

Garcia takes jockey lead

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Apprentice jockey Martin Garcia took the lead in the Bay Meadows jockey race, completing a triple with a victory in the ninth race, as he edged ahead of perennial leader Russell Baze with four days remaining in the meet.

Garcia won a three-way photo in the first race, a $40,000 starter allowance at 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf, aboard heavily favored Smooch Higher ($2.80). He also won with Her Money ($3.20) in the sixth race and Sheaths Devil ($3) in the eighth race.

Garcia leads Baze 39-38 after starting the day two winners behind Baze, who has won the past 34 Bay Meadows meets in which he has participated.