A legendary rider returned to the winner’s circle. And another one reached a milestone victory during the season’s first weekend of racing at Emerald Downs.
Gary Baze, who has ridden more winners in the state of Washington than any other jockey, won his first race at Emerald Downs in nearly three years when he guided Brainstorm to an upset victory in the ninth race on Saturday.
The 52-year-old Baze, the all-time leading rider at Longacres and ninth all-time at Emerald Downs, began his latest comeback earlier this year in Arizona.
But Baze wasn’t the only rider in Saturday’s spotlight.
Juan Gutierrez racked up his 500th Emerald Downs victory when he guided April’s Red Tie first across the wire in the second race on the card.
The 38-year-old Gutierrez and his mount skimmed the rail throughout the 5-furlong claming event, and they collared Casey’s Clone in the late stages for a 1¼-length triumph.