The Long and the Short of Jockeys' Race Boils Down To Pincay VS. Baze
April 13, 2001
by Kieran Sullivan
Santa Anita Stable Notes
Like Old Man River, 54-year-old Laffit Pincay Jr. just keeps rolling along at the top of the jockeys' standings. And in his attempt to win his first Santa Anita winter/spring riding title since the 1988-89 season, Pincay might be well-advised to remember the wisdom of Satchel Paige - don't look back 'cause sumthin' might be gaining on ya."
In this case, that 'sumthin' is 18-year-old Tyler Baze, who has moved ahead of Victor Espinoza into second place in the standings and trails Pincay by a count of 68-58 heading into the final weekend of the 83-day meeting.
"If we'd have gone to Las Vegas before the meeting and got odds that these two would be leading riders at the meet," observed Pincay's agent Bob Meldahl, "we'd never have to work again."
Like fine wine, Pincay seems to be getting better with age, coming away with the 2000 Oak Tree riding title, his first since 1982.
"Yeah, I look at him all the time," Baze said about the world's all-time winningest rider, who is three times his age. "I don't know if I'll be riding in 30 years but I hope I can. We'll see how long I last. I watch Eddie (Delahoussaye) a lot, he's the greatest I think. He's amazing, a very classy guy."
Baze has been riding like a seasoned veteran despite his status as relative newcomer.
"I just keep working hard," said Baze. "I don't think about it much. When you start thinking, that's when you get into trouble. (My success) is amazing to me, but I try not to think about it so I won't get a big head. Like everybody says, 'Don't get a big head, otherwise you're out.' I just try to go out and do my job. No matter how old you are, you can work as long as you're out there doing your job."