07/07/2013 8:18PM

Hollywood Park: Jockey Tyler Baze suspended for failed alcohol test

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Benoit & Associates
Tyler Baze's suspension for a failed alcohol test runs through Oct. 10.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Jockey Tyler Baze has been suspended 120 days for failing an alcohol test last month, according to a ruling issued Sunday by track stewards at Betfair Hollywood Park.

The suspension is retroactive to June 13 and continues through Oct. 10. To resume riding, Baze, 30, must attend an in-house rehabilitation facility for a minimum of 60 days and attend a fitness hearing before stewards Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer, and Tom Ward. The rehabilitation facility must be approved by the Winners’ Foundation, which assists people in horse racing with substance-abuse issues.

Baze was suspended for being under the influence of alcohol and for violating the terms of a conditional jockey’s license. He was not immediately available for comment Sunday.

Baze failed a sobriety test administered by California Horse Racing Board investigators June 13 and was taken off his mounts at Hollywood Park that day. He said at the time that he consumed alcohol on a fishing trip with friends on the preceding day.

“It’s pretty devastating,” he said at the time. “I messed up my contract. A contract is a contract. I signed it, and I messed up. I take full responsibility for it. Things happen.”

Sunday’s penalty is the second time in three years that Baze has faced sanctions for alcohol use. The recent failed alcohol test was a violation of a conditional license issued last September after Baze missed more than a year of riding for failing to take a Breathalyzer test at Del Mar in September 2011.

Baze completed the terms of that suspension, which included a 30-day residency rehabilitation program, and returned to riding last October. He was in the midst of an excellent 2013 season when he failed the alcohol test last month. At the time, Baze was tied for the lead in the jockeys’ standings at the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting. Earlier this year, Baze finished fifth at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting with 45 wins.

The suspension issued Sunday will prevent Baze from riding at the Del Mar meeting, the Barretts Racing at Fairplex Park meeting at the Los Angeles County Fair in September, and the first weeks of the Santa Anita autumn meeting.

Baze is best known for winning the Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding apprentice jockey in 2000.