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Hollywood Park: Jockey Tyler Baze suspended for failed alcohol test
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.
Tyler you are still my prayers, I just want you to know that for all the nay-sayers there or online you do have the support of many people. We miss not seeing you at Del Mar and look so forward to seeing you in Oct. Tyler work hard to get yourself back on track, it is more important for yourself then any of us that like to watch you. So get tough and see you in Oct.
@Gary Smith: Rather unfair to compare a one time incident (Chantal Sutherland) to a repeat offender don't you think? That being said, I wish Tyler the best of luck -- alcohol addiction is an ILLNESS and like another poster said until you have walked a mile in his shoes you shouldn't judge.
Chantal Sutherland ,showed up drunk to ride at Woodbine. suspended...retired ..yet she s the poster girl for Del Mar and back riding. Now delete my post,as usual.
CHRB just put out a release that one of their task force boards will be looking into random alcohol testing for all jockeys and drug testing for stewards, pony rides and the gate crew at the meetings next week at Del Mar.
Most addicts are judged unfairly. Like Pete Rose. He should be in the HOF even if he never gets reinstated.
A ridiculously harsh suspension, especially if you consider the tiny fines that get dished out to doping trainers. One month would be sufficient. And just when he was doing so well.
Man what a slice of major talent to lose on the west coast.....hope he comes out of this mess.
The best BASEBALL player ever was a notorious alcoholic and no one EVER said a single word about George Herman Ruth. Nice comment Debbie.
I can not believe the comments on here unless you are in Tylers shoes you have no idea what he feels like or how hard of a struggle it is for him to stay sober. I am amazed by people who have all of the answers and live in their glass houses. I hope he gets help and finds the peace and strength to stay sober in a career that makes being messed up an easier path than being clean.
Seems to run in the family. Twenty five years ago, I lived about a mile from the old Longacres and Tyler's Uncle Mike (or cousin) knocked on my door, a complete stranger, and asked if I could give him a ride to the backstretch and that his name was Mike Baze. The drink is strong in those bloodlines.
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