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Baze Is 11th Jockey To Win 6,000

December 4, 1997

ALBANY, Calif. (AP) _ Russell Baze rode his 6,000th career winner Wednesday, guiding Clover Hunter to a 12-length victory in the fourth race at Golden Gate Fields.

The victory aboard the 2-year-old colt enabled Baze to join Bill Shoemaker, Laffit Pincay and nine other jockeys who have hit the 6,000-victory plateau.

``It’s nice to join a select group like that,″ Baze said. ``But I don’t really think about it that much. I think of myself as a guy that goes our there and does his job.″

Baze, 38, rode his first winner in September 1974 at Yakima Meadows in Washington. Five years later, he began riding at Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields in Northern California, where has perennially led the jockey standings.

Baze said he feels he could ride for another decade or so, but isn’t willing yet to set his sights on Shoemaker’s record of 8,833 victories.

``I’ve just been really lucky to have had a lot of success,″ Baze said. ``The numbers say I’m up there with a select group, but I’m not going to let that go to my head.″

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