Braulio Baeza
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Baeza No Angry Young Jockey

by Steve Klessel

circa late '62

Manuel Ycaza and Braulio Baeza are both Panamanian jockeys and sometimes people who do not know them believe them two of a kind. Which isn't right because Beaza is not an Ycaza at all. Indeed, Baeza is completely different in personality than his fiery countryman.

He's a nice, quiet kid," a close friend of Baeza declares. "Never becomes upset like alot of other jockeys.

"You know the thing about Baeza's riding style that impressed everybody? He goes easy on the whip. Keep your eye on him in a race. He might use the whip early in the running to get his horse in a contending position. But when they're heading down the stretch, Baeza will rarely do more than flick the horse on the shoulder once or twice. He figures that whipping hard does more harm than good. And it figures he's right because he is very successful."

Willie Shoemaker, who never lets his enthusiasm run away from him, is one of Baeza's biggest admirers. Maybe that's because Baeza and Shoemaker have the same theories about race riding.

"You never see Braulio flopping all over his horse." Shoemaker says. "He sits still and calm. He relaxes and that seems to make the horse cool, too. Braulio is as smart a rider as there is.

Kind to His Mounts

Shoemaker continues, "I don't know any other jockey who has the same ideas about using the whip. So many of the other jocks are always beating their horses up. Not Braulio.

"You take an old plater that's been running for years and he's been beat up so much that when he feels or sees the whip, he's used to it and hardly flinches. Now Braulio is kind to his mounts and I think that makes them run more kindly for him."

Baeza's calmness rewarded his contract-holder, Fred W. Hooper, with a $95,000 check for victory in last Saturday's Gardenia. Riding Main Swap, Baeza just sat still on his filly, close behind Smart Deb.

"I was waiting for the right moment to make one move," he said. "Smart Deb went out coming into the stretch and that was the moment. I went through and won."

Baeza returns to Garden State today to ride Master Dennis in The Garden State Trial and tomorrow to ride Crozier in the Trenton Handicap. The tall, thin, sallow-faced jockey will be welcomed by horseplayers who have come to know that when calm Baeza rides, you can count on a horse doing its best.

***

Field of Nine for Trenton

A field of nine is in prospect for tomorrow's $75,000 added Trenton at 1 1/4 miles. Carry Back will pick up high weight of 129 pounds with Crozier, Mongo, Guadalcanal, Misty Day, Sensitivo, Try Cash, Towson and Smart his probable rivals.

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