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Originally published August 16, 2013 at 9:39 PM | Page modified August 16, 2013 at 10:41 PM

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Sunday’s Mile is a milestone for legendary jockey Baze

Russell Baze will ride in his 20th Longacres Mile on Sunday, breaking a record he currently shares with his cousin, Gary Baze.

Seattle Times staff

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Russell Baze is back.

But that’s nothing new on Longacres Mile day for North America’s all-time winningest jockey. Baze, who began his career at Yakima Meadows in 1974 and surpassed the 12,000-win mark earlier this summer in Northern California, is scheduled to ride Politicallycorrect, the 7-2 morning-line favorite in Sunday’s $200,000 Grade III Longacres Mile at Auburn’s Emerald Downs.

The mount will give Baze, 55, a record 20 appearances in the Mile, moving out of a tie with his cousin, Gary Baze. Russell Baze has ridden in each Mile since 1992, winning three times, and is the only jockey to win back-to-back Miles at Emerald Downs, doing it on Sky Jack in 2003 and on Adreamisborn in 2004. He also won in 1988 aboard Simply Majestic at Longacres in Renton.

It’s a race that has always meant a lot to Baze, who grew up in Washington. After winning the 2004 Mile, he said, “The Longacres Mile, that was like the Kentucky Derby to me... that was the race.”

Sunday’s Mile has a Breeders’ Cup feel to it. Horses from all directions have converged for the race, making it a very difficult race to predict.

Politicallycorrect last raced at Saratoga, N.Y. Mr. Bowling, recently co-purchased by Redmond’s Mark Dedomenico, last raced in Indiana. Three horses last raced in Southern California, and British Columbia star Herbie D is the second choice on the morning line at 4-1.

There are 11 races on the card,and the Mile is the eighth race. The top race of the season for fillies and mares, the $65,000 Emerald Distaff, is the sixth race.

Exclusive Diva and E Z Kitty lead the local contingent in the seven-horse field, but will face a big challenge from Vancouver, B.C.-based star Evelyn’s Dancer.

• Among the festivities Sunday will be a giveaway of 41 flat-screen TVs.

• Noosito is the 2-1 favorite in Saturday’s $50,000 W.T.B.O.A Stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings.

Scott Hanson: shanson@seattletimes.com or 206-464-2943

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