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Russell Baze Suffers Injury

June 09, 2005|Bob Mieszerski | Times Staff Writer

Jockey Russell Baze, who won his 9,000th race a week ago at Golden Gate Fields, broke his left collarbone in a spill at the Albany, Calif., track on Wednesday.

Second only to Laffit Pincay Jr. on the all-time list, Baze may also have some broken ribs and will be sidelined for at least four weeks, according to David Seftel, Golden Gate's track physician.

Riding Cowboy Badgett, Baze hit the ground when the 3-year-old gelding broke down while challenging favorite and eventual winner Swiss Steak for the lead approaching the stretch. Cowboy Badgett, the second choice in the $20,000 starter allowance, had to be euthanized after breaking his left front ankle.

Baze's misfortune opens the mount on Lost In The Fog, an unbeaten 3-year-old sprinter trained by Greg Gilchrist for owner Harry Aleo, in Saturday's $200,000 Riva Ridge, a Grade II at seven furlongs at Belmont Park. Lost In The Fog had won all six of his starts under Baze.

This was the second collarbone injury in less than two years for Baze, 46. He broke his right collarbone on Nov. 30, 2003, and was sidelined eight weeks because of that injury.


Patrick Valenzuela, injured in a spill last month at Hollywood Park, will be back Saturday. It was thought that the jockey might miss the rest of the Hollywood Park spring-summer meet, which ends July 17.

Valenzuela, who suffered a knee injury and a concussion when he fell at the start on a race May 9, worked three horses in Inglewood on Wednesday after working three on Tuesday at Santa Anita.

"I'm just lucky to be back," Valenzuela said. "The headaches I had after the spill stopped a couple of weeks ago. I had some cartilage taken out of the knee that I hurt and was cleared Monday by [Dr. James Tibone]. I'm still undergoing daily therapy for the knee."

Valenzuela will have mounts in both of the stakes on Saturday's card. He will ride Vangelis in the $350,000 Charlie Whittingham Memorial and Hasty Kris in the $75,000-added Ack Ack Handicap.

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