08/26/2011 6:03PM

Del Mar: Baze starts mandated process


DEL MAR, Calif. - Jockey Tyler Baze said on Thursday that he is committed to undergoing counseling for alcoholism after failing a Breathalyzer test on Aug. 19 and missing three days of racing last weekend.

Baze, 28, said on Thursday that he is attending Alcoholics Anonymous sessions “at least once a day”, and intends to continue to do so.

Baze did not ride from Aug. 19-21 after failing the Breathalyzer. Wednesday, he passed a Breathalyzer test and signed an agreement for frequent alcohol testing with the California Horse Racing Board. He resumed riding that day. According to steward Scott Chaney, the testing will have “mandatory and random components.”

Baze was winless with 12 mounts on Wednesday and Thursday and had three seconds during that span.

“All I can do is apologize to the owners and trainers,” he said of his recent absence. “It won’t happen again.”

Baze came to Del Mar with the hope of contending for the riding title. Through Thursday, he was ranked ninth in the standings with nine wins at the meeting. Baze missed most of the first four months of the season while recovering from an eye injury suffered in an accident here last summer. “It’s been a rough year,” he said.

Baze won the Grade 1 Clement Hirch Stakes on Ultra Blend earlier this month. He is scheduled to ride Evelyn’s Dancer in the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante, a Grade 1 race for 2-year-old fillies over seven furlongs next Saturday.