Three stakes wins in two days, including two graded stakes, led voters to support Tyler Baze as Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for March 19 – 25, 2018. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America. Jockey of the Week is sponsored by Animal Element’s Foundation Detox and Product X Performance Enhancer.
Tyler Baze swept all three of the stakes races offered at Santa Anita last weekend, including two Grade 2 events on Saturday. His first stakes win of the weekend came in the $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes (G2) aboard Selcourt ($7.40). Baze and Selcourt were wire-to-wire winners as the second choice, defeating the field of fillies and mares by four lengths, including heavy favorite Paradise Woods.
Later on the card, Baze returned to the winner’s circle in the $200,000 San Luis Rey Stakes (G2) with the defending champion, Itsinthepost. Baze and Itsinthepost ($4.20) sat back early and stalked before gaining the lead heading in the stretch to win by just under a length against a deep field of older horses going a mile and a half on the turf.
The pair teamed up to win last year’s edition of the San Luis Rey, marking the gelding’s first graded stakes win. It was the third time in five years that Baze had won the San Luis Rey; in 2014 he rode Fire With Fire to victory, and he was second in 2016 with Quick Casablanca.
Baze swept the Santa Anita stakes with a win on Sunday in the card’s feature race, the $75,000 Mizdirection Stakes, a downhill sprint for fillies and mares. Baze and Belvoir Bay ($15.40) narrowly defeated Blame it On Alphie and Flavien Prat by a head at the wire.
Last week, Baze was fifth among all North American jockeys by total earnings with $345,115 and was the fourth-leading rider by stakes earnings with $288,000. Baze is currently ranked 19th among all North America jockeys for total earnings year to date, with over $1.9 million earned in 2018. His lifetime earnings total now exceed $110 million.
His five wins in 14 starts resulted in a win rate of 36% and an in the money rate 50% for the week. In 2018, he has won 33 of his 230 starts; lifetime, he is 2,509 for 18,160. Baze is the third leading jockey at Santa Anita for the current meet with 33 wins and is second by earnings.
Though Baze secured a majority of the votes, the panel also recognized Mitchell Murrill’s accomplishments, including an upset win with Chocolate Martini ($29.80) in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2). The win in the Kentucky Oaks prep race marked the first graded stakes victory for Murrill, as well as Chocolate Martini, who earned 100 points and sits on top of the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard.
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