12/26/2012 12:58PM

Golden Gate: Baze likely to hit 12,000 in 2013

Shigeki Kikkawa
Russell Baze has 11,863 Thoroughbred wins and figures to hit 12,000 sometime in 2013.

Next year should be a milestone one for jockey Russell Baze, who is closing in on the 12,000 mark for victories.

Baze and South American rider Jorge Ricardo are in a race to the next triple-zero milestone.

Ricardo, who will resume riding Jan. 10 in Argentina, is listed with 11,868 winners on the website Pagina de Turf (paginadeturf.com.ar). The website credits Baze with 11,804 winners, but Daily Racing Form career statistics credit him with 11,863 Thoroughbred victories.

Baze is more than 2,000 wins in front of the third-winningest rider, Laffit Pincay Jr. (9,530) and more than 3,000 in front of the fourth- and fifth-place riders, Bill Shoemaker (8,833) and Pat Day (8,803).

Baze rode 65 winners during the 35-day Golden Gate Fields fall meet to capture his 44th Golden Gate riding title. Dennis Carr, who returned to Northern California from New York for the meet, finished second with 31 wins, with Frank Alvarado third with 25 victories.

Golden Gate Fields is doing its best to promote Baze’s pursuit of the milestone. It has Baze’s win total posted on the tote board and updates it daily with his victory total.

Needless to say, Golden Gate is hoping the milestone will come sometime during the 101-day winter-spring meeting, which began Dec. 26 and closes June 16.

Just as Baze’s victory in the jockey standings came as no surprise at the fall meet, Jerry Hollendorfer, as expected, won the training title. Hollendorfer had 28 winners while earning his 42nd Golden Gate championship. Steve Miyadi finished second with 21 winners, while Steve Sherman finished third with 17.