Updated on 09/16/2011 8:21AM

Only The Best much the best


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Only The Best ($5.60) sat off the sizzling pace of Gray Jag, caught him in the stretch and pulled away to an easy four-length victory in the $70,800 Malcolm Anderson Stakes at Bay Meadows on Sunday.

Gray Jag, who was fractious in the paddock, had a one-length lead after a 22.05 opening quarter. He opened a 2 1/2-length lead with a 43.96 half. Only The Best cut the lead to only a length in the stretch and clearly had the leader measured. He ran six furlongs in 1:09.01.

Although Only The Best had run a 20.98 opening quarter in his last start, winning rider Jason Lumpkins said he was told to try to lay off the speed.

"When the other horse kicked away a bit on the turn, I asked my horse to pick it up and by the time we got to the top of the stretch, I knew I had him," Lumpkins said.

"This colt can run, but I don't know if he'll run much beyond three-quarters (six furlongs)," Gray Jag's rider Chad Schvaneveldt said. "He was doing things easy even though he was going fast. Last time, I waited till a horse pulled up to me, but I didn't get a response, so today I let him open up a little."

Only The Best earned $43,500 for his first stakes victory and second career win to lift his lifetime earnings to $75,054.

Baze wins five

Russell Baze, the nation's leading rider in victories, notched five wins on Sunday's card at Bay Meadows.

Baze won the first race aboard Twelveyearslater ($6.20). He won the second aboard River Bridge ($4.40) when original winner Madison Davis was disqualified and placed last. He won the fifth aboard Colonel Kelly ($5.80), then teamed with leading trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who had three wins, with Lucky Sabre ($15.60) in the sixth. His final winner was aboard Surprise Halo ($5) in the eighth.

He also had a second and two thirds on his other mounts.