February 15, 2011

At Home With The Winningest Jockey

     If there were any jockey to help Silver Medallion break through and make his presence felt on the Derby Trail, why not the world's winningest jockey in the likes of Russell Baze. He has 27 riding titles at the track by the Golden Gate Bridge, he now has three straight El Camino Real Derbies and he has a bonafide Derby contender in his charge.  
     Baze was Silver Medallion's fifth jockey, at his fifth track mind you, in only six starts for the Kentucky Derby hopeful. The TYB Stables son of Badge of Silver wasn't highly regarded either. The connections for 1-2 post-time favorite Comma To The Top considered the El Camino at Golden Gate Fields the easier of the  prep races on Saturday.
    When Comma To The Top decided to surge to the front and burn himself out running rank, Silver Medallion and Baze capitalized on the opportunity. Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Comma faded to sixth place and off the board, causing some pretty plump show prices. For Silver Medallion though, having a local expert, and hero, in the irons proved advantageous. Baze slid Silver Medallion into the 4-path and the 6-1 shot cruised to a 1 1/4-length win in 1:50 2/5 for the 1 1/8-miles, just 4 ticks of the track record.  The performance earned him the highest Beyer Speed Figure for all of the Derby preps over the weekend.
     With a first-leg qualifier for the Preakness 5.5 under his belt, and $120,000 graded stakes earnings, the Santa Anita Derby is the likely to be Silver Medallion's next start.

     The El Camino Real Derby is a big race for Golden Gates Fields. It is one of the few graded stakes races the track hosts and, with the inception of the Preakness 5.5, the El Camino gained added significance.  To document the big day, Eclipse Sportswire photographer Bob Mayberger ventured west.  His photographs of some of the sights and scenes around Golden Gate Fields are in the slideshow below.

Scenes From Golden Gate Fields from Stride LIVE on Vimeo.
Eclipse Sportswire photographer Bob Mayberger ventured to Golden Gate Fields this past weekend. As many focused on Santa Anita and Tampa Bay, the three-year-old prep race whose winner scored the highest Beyer Speed Figure was the El Camino Real Derby, and Mayberger was there to document the day.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! My son actually wants to become a jockey. He just loves our horse and is always out riding it whenever he can. I hope to get some kensington horse blankets for our horse. It's starting to get cold out and my son is worried about her getting too cold.