Jockey Russell Baze made the right decision and as a result was amply rewarded Friday at the Sonoma County Fair.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer gave the world’s winningest rider his choice of piloting Do the Danse or Seduire in the $56,450 Wine Country Debutante Stakes, and Baze elected to go with the latter.
After guiding Seduire to a front-running victory while her stablemate faded to last, Baze revealed he worked both fillies the week before the race.
“I guess I picked the right one,” he said with a smile. “She impressed me.”
Seduire’s previous starts were at Santa Anita where she won a maiden race and then finished second in the $126,000 Landaluce Stakes.
Do the Danse had been unbeaten in two starts, including the Juan Gonzalez Memorial at Pleasanton.
Once the gates opened, Baze allowed Seduire to take the lead.
“She broke alertly and I let her go on her own,” he said. “She got her second wind at the eighth-pole and we would’ve still won had the race been longer than six furlongs.”
Baze’s good judgment earned him $3,205 as his 10 percent of the winner’s share.
The public backed Seduire with confidence and she paid only $2.60 for the minimum win bet.