02/04/2008 12:00AM

Sky Mystic justifies expense


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Greg Gilchrist said his hand didn't shake at all when the $400,000 agreement slip to purchase Sky Mystic was signed at Calder last February.

That's because owner David Heerensperger signed the slip.

"My hand shakes when I sign one for $150,000," said Gilchrist.

Heerensperger said his hand was shaking even though he also made a $375,000 purchase of Indyanne at the same sale.

With Sky Mystic's victory in the California Oaks last Saturday at Golden Gate Fields, she vindicated the sale, as has Indyanne, who will return to Gilchrist's barn next month following minor knee surgery.

Gilchrist said he is looking for the next race for Sky Mystic.

"She could run 1 1/2 miles," he said. "I don't think they can write a race too long for her."

Sky Mystic is a half-sister to multiple stakes winners Majestic Dy and Forest Park as well as the stakes winner Boston Bull and stakes-placed Skip a Grade and Perfect Stranger.

Gilchrist's only concern is keeping her relaxed before races so he plans to give her plenty of time between starts. Shipping could be a problem, but Gilchrist said he could overcome that by shipping early and giving Sky Mystic plenty of time to adjust to her surroundings.

Baze already has timetable for 11,000

Addressing fans at Golden Gate Fields following his 10,000th career victory Friday, Russell Baze said, "This is a milestone, not the final milestone," and added he expected to be celebrating another in three years.

Since Baze averages close to 400 victories per year, he was asked if that meant he might be cutting back on his schedule a bit. He did some quick calculations and said victory No. 11,000 might come sooner than three years and promptly went out and won two more races Friday, two on Saturday, and four on Sunday.

Baze spends much of his time between races reading and also enjoys doing mathematical sudoku puzzles.

When asked if he had tried to put 10,000 victories into perspective, Baze said he figured that if the average winning time for one of his victories was one minute and 20 seconds, that if all his wins were placed on a video disc, it would take eight days to watch them all.

Baze, 49, beat longtime rival Roberto Gonzalez, who has more than 4,000 wins, in a narrow photo for his 10,000th win. He said that he and the 53-year-old Gonzalez were discussing age recently.

Although he is approaching 50, Baze said he told Gonzalez, "That's not the number I see in my head or feel in my heart."

Baze is the second rider to reach 10,000 victories. Brazilian jockey Jorge Ricardo reached the figure on Jan. 9 in Argentina.

On a South American website, Ricardo, 46, said he would ride longer than Baze to assure that he retired as the world's winningest rider. He rode nearly 1,000 more horses than Baze did in 2007.

"If he's willing to ride 2,000 mounts a year, he can have it," Baze said. "I'm in awe of anybody who can do that. I can't imagine anybody riding that many more than I do."

Baze may get to meet Ricardo this summer when he rides in an international competition in the Shergar Cup at Ascot in August. He said Ricardo had also been invited but didn't know if he had accepted.

Business as usual at top of standings

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer won his 32nd straight Golden Gate Fields training title, saddling 50 winners, 14 more than runner-up Billy Morey. Steve Miyadi was third with 26. Steve Sherman, who took out his trainer's license on Jan. 1, had 16 winners and earlier saddled 25 for his father, Art.

Baze won his 32nd Golden Gate riding title, finishing the meet with 108 winners. Runner-up Frank Alvarado had 39, Luis Contreras 37, and Mario Gutierrez, who had two winners Sunday, wound up with 31.

* Gonzalez will sit out the first three days of the Bay Meadows meeting after causing interference in the stretch aboard Rain'n Curve Balls in the 10th race on Jan. 27.