Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Baze of glory Downs' big story

First woman in track history to win leading jockey title

  • Print

Vicky BAZE rode Southern Alliance to victory in the seventh race to make history Sunday afternoon at Assiniboia Downs.

Almost immediately afterward, she and her jockey husband Gary jumped into their motorhome and rode off into the sunset for Phoenix and Turf Paradise, where they'll continue racing throughout the winter.

Finishing the season with 71 victories, Baze became the first woman in the 52-year history of the Downs to capture the leading jockey title, wresting it from Janine Stianson, who was second with 67 wins and Larren Delorme, who had 66.

Heading into Sunday's final day of action, Baze led the standings with 69, Stianson had 67 and Delorme had 66.

Delorme, who had lost ground due to a six-day suspension earlier this fall, had mounted a challenge Saturday when he rode three winners, drawing him within three wins of Baze. Early Sunday he picked up a pair of wins, on Furious George in the second and Lord Showa in the third, as he continued his late charge. But the well ran dry.

Baze picked up a win on Ecton's Gem in the fifth and Southern Alliance carried her to her title in the seventh.

No Replay took second and Caleb Boy finished third.

Oddly enough, Stianson, who battled Baze neck-and-neck throughout the season, was shut out of the winner's circle yesterday.

Baze, who maintained from the start that winning the title was not as important to her as everyone having a good season and staying healthy, was true to form in the winner's circle. "Actually I was hoping that we'd all tie, and all three of us would be standing here with this big old horse trophy. I think it was really great to have everybody in the hunt the whole way."

When she and Gary came on the scene in the spring of 2009, her Washington Hall of Fame husband was the main attraction, even though she had garnered her share of jockey titles (four in Washington State), and was listed as one of the top five female jockeys in North America.

Unable to ride due to a foreign jockey quota, she didn't actually race until late in the season that year, when Gary dropped out due to injury. Regardless, she managed to win 39 races and finish sixth.

This year, with a full season of races under her belt and the jockey title under her arm, Baze seemed a little sad to be leaving. "Frankly I feel very blessed," she said. "Everybody made me feel at home here. I thank the fans who stuck with us all summer, were very involved and just cheered us on."

The race for leading trainer was nowhere near as tight as the jockey derby. Tom Gardipy Jr., who picked up three wins Sunday with In The Other (Tyrone Nelson), Lord Showa (Delorme) and Rage Till Dawn (Nelson), finished with 48 wins to successfully defend the title he shared with Carl Anderson last year. Anderson, who missed 15 days due to a suspension earlier this month, fell behind and never caught up. He finished second with 36 wins while Ardell Sayler was third with 31.

Baze had hoped to take October off, but she's back in the saddle on Friday at Turf Paradise.

"Yeah, it looks like I'm not going to get any time off from racing. I ride opening day on Friday, so I'll be driving 2,200 miles and have just enough time to go to the jocks room and saddle up," she said.

"They race five days a week all winter long with a six-day week thrown in once a month. I know it sounds like a lot of riding, but it will be nice to be back in our little home again."

Overall it was a good year for the Downs as well. On-track wagering went up by six per cent on a race-to-race basis with last year. And, combined with bets from fans in other parts of North America, wagering declined only slightly, by .04 per cent. The total amount wagered was $8.9 million. Overall, there was a 7.8 per cent decline in wagering in the U.S. over the past year.

Track director of operations Darren Dunn said the reason the Downs is bucking industry trends is, "highly competitive racing thanks to good-quality horses and a trainer and jockey colony with exceptional depth." He also credited "innovative promotions."



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 27, 2010 C2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Key of Bart - Four Little Games

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Winnipeg Free Press 090528 STAND UP...(Weather) One to oversee the pecking order, a pack of pelican's fishes the eddies under the Red River control structure at Lockport Thursday morning......
  • A group of Horese pose for the camera in the early evening light at Southcreek Stables in Stl Norbert Wednessday. Sept  14, 2011 (RUTH BONNEVILLE) / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Do you plan to watch Saturday's boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google