07/03/2013 1:37PM

Pleasanton: Baze edging closer to 12,000

Shigeki Kikkawa
Russell Baze was 12 wins away from victory No. 12,000 entering Thursday's races.

After a slow opening week that saw him win only four races, Russell Baze warmed up the second week of the Pleasanton meet, capping it off with a four-win day Sunday that left him with 11,988 victories. Baze could become the first North American rider to reach 12,000 wins this weekend or at the California State Fair meet, which begins next Friday.

He was the Pleasanton meet’s leading rider into Thursday with 13 victories from 43 mounts. He was named on seven mounts Thursday and was scheduled to ride six more Friday.

Baze had 11,985 victories going into Sunday’s card, but Picture Perfect was officially disqualified from a Jan. 1 win at Golden Gate Fields because of a positive drug test and Baze lost a victory. Ironically, his first winner Sunday came aboard Picture Perfect.