Braulio Baeza
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Caballeros Slicing Up Big Apple Three Ways

by Joe Val

World-Telegram Turf Editor

Heliodoro (Papito) Gustines fouled out last Tuesday and Manuel Ycaza two days later, so it's up to Braulio Baeza to uphold the honor of the Horsemen of the Isthmus. The tallest and newest Panamanian is doing it so well he has clinched the riding title for the final Aqueduct meet. A double yesterday gave him 47 wins in as many days, with nearest rival, John Rotz eight behind.

Ycaza has the color and experience, yet many experts forecast a brighter future for the impassive, straight-backed Braulio. Manuel, in his zeal, invites too many suspensions. He's losing fans who consider it tragic to be disqualified out of a winner.

Manuel's seasonal penances in New York alone have been 55, 40, 20 and 50 days, respectively, since he came along in 1958. He's the biggest sinner, yet Gustines is catching up, with bans of 50 and 30 days.

Injuries Cut In

Baeza, on the other hand, has run afoul a normal quota of fines, tenners at Keeneland and Monmouth this year. Injuries have been his bugaboo, first a broken collarbone, then a painful chest. All told he lost five months, yet his mounts will earn approximately the same as 1960. That freshman season in the USA produced a phenomenal $964,622. No. 10 among all jockeys.

Braulio, best known for victories aboard Sherluck, has been contract rider for Fred. W. Hooper since he went to Gulfstream in April a year ago. Starting in 1955 at age 15 in tough Panama, he won on his third mount, beating Ycaza. Before coming here, his victories totaled more than 900.

Can Finish Well

Quiet, polite and attentive, Baeza has learned English via television and Camilo Marin, his agent. His wife, Carmen, is of Chilean ancestry and they have two children. The boy bought a home last winter in NW Miami and it was promptly robbed of $8,600.

A sit-still rider, often compared with Shoemaker, Braulio is a good judge of pace on front runners. He can finish well, whipping with either hand. A thin 5-5, he rides at 112 pounds. He doesn't drink or smoke.

Baeza was born March 26, 1940. Gustines Dec. 29, 1940, and Ycaza Feb. 1, 1938

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