Updated on 09/05/2011 10:39AM

Del Mar: Tyler Baze suspended indefinitely


DEL MAR, Calif. – Jockey Tyler Baze was suspended indefinitely by Del Mar stewards on Thursday after failing to submit to a random Breathalyzer test ordered that morning, according to steward Scott Chaney.

The suspension was issued after Baze appeared at Del Mar’s first aid department for testing late Thursday morning, left when he was told it was unclear whether he was needed for a test, and then was involved in a minor car accident that led to a brief trip to an emergency room, Baze said Thursday afternoon.

Baze was taken off his mounts for failing to appear for the test and is suspended pending a formal hearing regarding his “fitness for a license,” Chaney said. It was not immediately clear when that hearing would take place. Baze is scheduled to meet with track stewards on Friday afternoon at Del Mar.

Baze, 28, missed three days of riding from Aug. 19-21 after failing a Breathalyzer test. As a result, Baze signed an agreement with the racing board that gave the board the right to conduct mandatory and random testing. Thursday’s request was the first random test under that agreement, Chaney said.

Baze arrived at Del Mar’s first aid department to undergo a blood pressure test at approximately 11:12 a.m. on Thursday, according to Chaney. The test has been conducted regularly in the last week after Baze was discovered to have hypertension issues when he had a physical in August, following an incident when he was unseated.

A few minutes after arriving in first aid on Thursday, Baze left because an employee in the first aid department said she was not sure whether the jockey was the person to be tested, both Chaney and Baze said on Thursday afternoon.

Baze said that he left the first aid department to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting before the races began. While en route to the meeting, his car was rear-ended, he said. He then went to the emergency room and later said that his back was “sore as hell.”

“I was sitting in first aid, and I said I was ready to test,” Baze said. “I left and went to AA. (The stewards) called and said they want me here. I told them, ‘I’m 15 to 20 minutes away,’ and I got in a car wreck.”

Steward Tom Ward said that an employee of the Scripps La Jolla hospital emergency room called the stewards to inform them that the jockey was undergoing treatment. “Tyler asked her to call,” Ward said.

The stewards released their ruling at 1 p.m. Baze said later that he was not aware of the ruling until he spoke with a reporter. Baze contacted the stewards after the third race, at approximately 3 p.m.

The ruling denies Baze access to all racing board facilities until a hearing is conducted. Such a stipulation would prevent Baze from working horses in the mornings.