09/07/2011 4:16PM

Golden Gate Fields: Baze helps Hollendorfer pass milestone

Vassar Photography
Just Tappin It, with Russell Baze riding, becomes trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's 6,000th winner.

Russell Baze knows a lot about racing milestones.

Since beginning his career in Walla Walla, Wash., in 1974, he has won more than 11,000 races – more than any jockey in history. He’s also ridden past some of the most famous names in racing, including Laffit Pincay Jr., whom he surpassed as the world’s winningest rider on Dec. 1, 2006, and Jorge Ricardo, the Brazilian who briefly surpassed him as the world’s winningest rider, on May 16, 2009.

On Saturday, he was aboard the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Just Tappin It when he guided the 3-year-old filly to Hollendorfer’s 6,000th victory.

“I’m really happy I got to do it for him,” Baze said in the winner’s circle. “I took five or six swings at it.”

Hollendorfer had been stuck on 5,998 since Aug. 22, going an uncharacteristic 0 for 28 before winning 5,999 with Going for a Spin in Friday’s first race at Golden Gate Fields.

In a phone call following Monday’s card at Golden Gate Fields, where Hollendorfer won four races and Baze won three to move into a tie atop the jockey standings with Aaron Gryder with 12 wins, Baze said, “It was nice to do it for him. I’ve had a couple milestones on Jerry’s horses, and it was nice to get one for him.”

As Baze pulled away down the stretch aboard Just Tappin It, he didn’t really think of the milestone, he admitted sheepishly.

“I totally forgot it was his 6,000th. It totally slipped my mind until I got back to the winner’s circle and saw the sign [celebrating victory No. 6,000],” Baze said.

Hollendorfer, who has been staying at Del Mar, where he got victory No. 6,005 with City to City in the Grade 2 Palomar, also on Monday, took the milestone in stride and talked a lot after about continuing as a trainer.

His wife, Janet, who greeted Baze and Just Tappin It in the Golden Gate winner’s circle, merely said of the reaching the milestone, “I’m glad it’s over with.”

For Baze to be aboard the milestone winner was poetic justice.

“We’ve had a lot of success,” said Baze, who has ridden 2,355 winners for Hollendorfer. “And I also got 6,001 for him.”

Baze says he “nearly always” thinks he has a good chance to win when he takes a call for Hollendorfer.

“If it’s a horse I don’t think can win, I know that Ray [Harris, his agent] and Jerry feel it’s placed where it has a good shot.”

Jenda content with third

Trainer Chuck Jenda was pleased by Victoryasecret’s effort when she ran third in Sunday’s $95,385 Adoration Stakes at Del Mar.

The second-longest shot on the board at 13.80-1, Victoryasecret held the lead in the lane before being run down by Grade 2 winner St Trinians, who won the one-mile turf test in 1:35.99. Downhill Diva won a photo for second in the final stride.

“She ran a great race,” said Jenda, whose star was coming off three straight wins, including photo victories in the Alameda County Fillies and Mares Handicap at Pleasanton and Luther Burbank Handicap at Santa Rosa.

“Victor [Espinosa] did a great job. He sat chilly when [Bob] Baffert’s filly [Ellafitz] moved early, and St Trinians is a graded stakes winner.”

Jenda wished he could have run Victoryasecret at home. He will run Summers Peace in a special one-mile turf allowance race Saturday at Golden Gate Fields that Victoryasecret might have run in. But there’s always a danger those races won’t fill, so Jenda went south instead.

“They need to have some $50,000 stakes up here,” Jenda said. “I don’t think they’re getting bang for their buck with these allowance races. They don’t get any publicity.”

Saturday’s race is a stakes-quality event with multiple stakes-winning Lady Railrider, U R All That I Am and Alec’s Moon running along with Summers Peace, who won the Washington State Legislator’s sprint at Emerald Downs in June, and Bleach Blonde, who lost a photo to Victoryasecret in the Luther Burbank among the entrants.

“I used to hate the fairs, but now I look forward to them,” Jenda said, noting that there were no stakes offered during the long winter-spring meet this year that Victoryasecret was eligible to run in.

Jenda said he will be checking condition books for Victoryasecret with no stakes opportunities at Golden Gate Fields.

“She seemed to come out of the race well, and she’s doing well. She doesn’t seem to mind going to the track, and she keeps emptying her feed tub.”

On-air anniversary for Spears

Labor Day marked the 32nd anniversary of Sam Spear’s daily televised racing recap show which has run continuously since airing originally in 1979.

“Not only is it the longest-running racing show, it’s the longest running sports show in the Bay Area,” Spear said proudly.

No one has done more to promote horse racing in California than Spear, who also has a weekly radio show on racing as well.

In the early days, Spear would commute to the fairs daily to bring film back to the studio to show the races, and he still solicits all his advertising, creating and filming the ads that appear on his show.

“I’m looking for sponsors to keep us on the air in 2012,” he said.