06/14/2013 3:32PM

Hollywood Park: Tyler Baze admits to failing alcohol test

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Benoit & Associates
Tyler Baze is facing a possible suspension for violating the terms of his conditional license.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Jockey Tyler Baze admitted Thursday afternoon that he failed an alcohol test administered earlier that day by the California Horse Racing Board because he had consumed alcohol on Wednesday.

Baze, 30, was taken off his mounts at Betfair Hollywood Park on Thursday. Baze is expected to face a suspension for violating the terms of a conditional license issued last September after the jockey missed more than a year of riding for failing to take a Breathalyzer test at Del Mar in September 2011.

The winner of the Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding apprentice jockey of 2000, Baze met with Hollywood Park stewards Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer and Tom Ward at lunchtime on Thursday. Later in the day, he acknowledged that he had consumed alcohol on Wednesday.

“It’s pretty devastating,” he said in a telephone interview.

“I went fishing yesterday and I had a few beers in the boat. 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.”

Entering the Thursday card, Baze was tied for the lead in the jockey standings at the spring-summer meeting with 31 wins. Earlier this year, Baze finished fifth at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting with 45 wins.

In the fall of 2011, Baze was suspended 90 days for failing to take a Breathalyzer test and ordered to undergo a 30-day residency program for alcohol counseling. When he resumed riding at Santa Anita last fall, Baze was living in such a facility in Pasadena, but downplayed the situation, saying at the time, “All that is behind me.”

Under the terms of his conditional license, Baze is subject to frequent drug testing. He is required to check in with racing board investigators on a daily basis, and is subject to random breath and urine tests.

Baze is expected to meet with track stewards later this month to discuss the violation of his conditional license.

“I’ll do what they tell me to do,” he said. “Life isn’t easy.”

The stewards did not say on Thursday what sanctions Baze could face.

Baze is closely allied with trainer Jeff Mullins and has ridden two of the trainer’s seven winners at the Hollywood Park meeting.

Speaking at his barn at Hollywood Park on Friday morning, Mullins said he was sympathetic to Baze’s situation.

“I feel sorry for him,” Mullins said. “It’s a disease. I hope he can overcome it. He’s a fantastic rider and a good friend. It’s like losing your left arm. He was riding 90 percent of the [horses in my] barn.

“I’ll sure give him another chance. We’ve always done well together.”

Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
It's very hardl to drink alcohol when all you can digest is 1000 calories per day .thats why. All these jockeys test positive the next day.maybe if you allowed them to tack 130 to 135 they would metabolize better.all they can have for dinner is 4oz. Of meat and a little salad .add a couple of glasses of wine and your trashed.
Jason Hart More than 1 year ago
Randy...... That argument has been brought up several times over the years. However, it doesn't work. When you raise the weights, all it does is encourage bigger riders to try and make weight. You know how many exercise riders who weigh 140, would starve themselves to tack 130? I don't know what the answer is to be honest.
JOHN More than 1 year ago
So he had a couple of beers. Big Deal.
Bryan E More than 1 year ago
Anyone closely allied with Jeff Mullins deserves no benefit of the doubt or 4th, 5th or 6th (whichever) chance. I was sympathetic until I read that.
Christine Race More than 1 year ago
I signed a similar contract with a healthcare firm...and it was designed with my best interest and the interest of others at heart. Bottom line...lives are at stake..others as well as my own...same applies with T. He will face the board..but if he FACES instead of runnin this time...enough trainers will back him any discipline will be light. Good Fortune Tyler and THINK WISELY in the future...consequences kill
John Flynn More than 1 year ago
Where is his Wife? Is she an Enabler or Just Plain Gone?
Bryan E More than 1 year ago
Why does she have to be either? Because it can't possibly be his fault, must be hers?
Michael Lowrey More than 1 year ago
Tyler is a super talent. I am routing for him. He was my jockey on a horse called Big Dude, and Tyler got me my first win. I will always be a fan of his.
Justin More than 1 year ago
There probably never should have been beer in the boat to begin with..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He should be able to drink on his own time. There are many alcoholics who work for a living. As long as Tyler is not drinking on the job, or letting his alcoholism affect his riding, he should be able to have some beers while he fishing. The Cal Stewards should quit trying to control people & focus on making better calls on inquiries/objections.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You're not that stupid, are you? He has a contract to be sober and his license depends on it, not to mention horses and riders are put in danger if someone who is intoxicated or hung over gets on a horse. If no one can trust him to be sober, why ISN'T it the CHRB's responsibility for the safety of everyone?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Before you can call me stupid, you should learn to read. I clearly said that Tyler is fine as long as he not drinking while on the job. If he wants to drink while he is fishing it's his life & his choice.
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
he failed the breathalyzer on a "work " day.
Christine Race More than 1 year ago
I signed a similar contract with a healthcare firm...and it was designed with my best interest and the interest of others at heart. Bottom line...lives are at stake..others as well as my own...same applies with T. He will face the board..but if he FACES instead of runnin this time...enough trainers will back him any discipline will be light. Good Fortune Tyler and THINK WISELY in the future...consequences kill
Bryan E More than 1 year ago
And he was only given his license back on the condition that he not drink. Jockeys are allowed to drink on their own time. Jockeys that sign a contract promising not to drink because they are in danger of losing their license for failing and skipping breathalyzer tests on work days have given up their right to drink on their own time.
Alexander Danzig More than 1 year ago
Here come the Puritans with their pitchforks.
DavidC More than 1 year ago
Hey, look all you people who make blanket statements about something you have no Ideal about should ready hold your comments about a problem that don't affect you and that Baze just have to deal with that issue of his own volition and time. That's something that is of a personal demon that requires self examination and reflection and there is nothing anyone can do for him but him. And so, leave it alone people!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"A problem that (doesn't) affect you"? How doesn't it affect us if he's hung over or intoxicated and attempts to ride? How doesn't it affect us if he's not putting in 100% effort because he got too high the night before? If you can drink on your job and not have it affect your livelihood, more power to you. But he has a problem, and he has a license depending on his sobriety. He's allowed to be human and make mistakes, but that doesn't mean he should have no consequences for it.
Alexander Danzig More than 1 year ago
You can fail a breathalyzer test at 0.01 and be neither hungover nor in the least intoxicated. We are too used to criminalizing petty infractions because "they could lead to something more." Good think it isn't applied universally or we'd be committing you to an institution on the ground that your up tight Puritanical inanities could signal insanity down the road.
Bryan E More than 1 year ago
He didn't get into this situation by blowing a 0.01 and not being hungover or intoxicated. His drinking has been a big problem for his career. Ask him. People who jump to the defense of everyone without knowing anything and think no one should be responsible for their actions are a much bigger problem than those that would criminalize everything petty (which his infractions have not all been, by the way).
Peter Cryer More than 1 year ago
He can drink all he wants when your career is over with, I had a friend that had the same demons who also was a jockey and he lived with me for a year, Sorry a couple 40oz beers at 120 pounds. Friends name was B Long, learn and live bro
Tekov Yahoser More than 1 year ago
Explains some of those rides at Longacres. Or was that Ron Hansen who met an early demise?
Harold Sinne More than 1 year ago
BRIAN LONG R.I.P-Tyler keep your head up wanna see you back in the winners circle soon got too get you some upcoming Breeders cup mounts...you know what you have too do thoughts and prayers Tyler...