05/20/2001 11:00PM

Lumpkins wins 6, and leads Baze


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Jockey Jason Lumpkins won six races Saturday, equaling a Bay Meadows record and opening an eight-win lead over northern California's perennial riding champion Russell Baze in the standings. Baze, however, came back to win two races on Sunday to close the gap to six going into this week's action.

Lumpkins, who trailed Baze 20-5 after the races of April 16, became the seventh rider in Bay Meadows history to win six races on a card. The others are John Adams (1938), Johnny Longden (1947), Bill Shoemaker (1950), Ralph Neves (1961), Baze (1984, 1999), and Bill Harmatz (1954). The northern California record of seven winners is held by Baze (Golden Gate Fields, 1992).

Baze, who rode in Southern California from 1989 through 1991, has won the riding title at every Bay Meadows and Golden Gate meeting at which he has participated since 1981. But Lumpkins goes into Wednesday's races with a 52-46 lead. There are four weeks left in the meeting.

On Saturday, Lumpkins won aboard Sheep Canyon ($7), Alien ($10.40), Bronzed ($7.20), Restless Navarone ($10), Robaleur ($13.60), and Rare Top ($13.60). He missed by only a head aboard Wegottohaveharte in the third race.

Lumpkins, who won 14 riding titles at Thistledown, came to northern California last June and is represented by agent Dennis Patterson.

"Russell's a great rider, but I'd love to be the one to unseat him," Lumpkins said. "Business is clicking great now. I've just been in the right place at the right time."

Legal Wynner worth a look

Legal Wynner, who won a maiden race on the turf impressively on April 26, may be capable of a repeat victory in the $32,000 allowance feature at 1 1/16 miles on the main track at Bay Meadows Wednesday.

Legal Wynner, from the Leonard Shoemaker stable, has raced only twice, showing considerable promise. He debuted in a mile maiden race on the main track April 5. After dropping far off the pace, he rallied along the rail to finish second, only a length behind the much more experienced De Coax. Then, Sherman tried Legal Wynner on the turf, and he went right to the lead. After opening two lengths early, jockey Lumpkins gave him a breather on the final turn and Pure Mirage got to within a head, but then Legal Wynner drew off again to win by 3 1/2 lengths. He is bred for the turf and may be best on that surface. He is an improving, talented horse who has shown an ability to handle either surface, and to rate and to finish in both his starts.

DeCoax, who beat Legal Wynner April 5, subsequently finished third in an allowance race and is back in Wednesday's field, but the main threat to the top choice is probably Amorous George, who won an $80,000 claiming race on the grass at Hollywood Park in his last start. Amorous George has also raced well on the main track and, in fact, posted his career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 90 when he won a $50,000 maiden-claiming race the last time he raced on that surface.

* Frank Alvarado, one of northern California's leading jockeys, will skip the summer fair circuit and ride at Arlington Park in Illinois beginning June 13. Agent Brad Pegram will go with him. Alvarado has finished in the top three at each of the last three major meetings in northern California and is also third at the current meet.

* Skimming, a Grade 1 winner from the Bobby Frankel stable, heads 15 nominees to the $150,000 All-American Handicap at 1 1/16 miles at Bay Meadows on Monday, Memorial Day.