06/13/2013 3:59PM

Hollywood Park: Tyler Baze taken off mounts

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Benoit & Associates
Tyler Baze missed more than a year of riding, from August 2011 to October 2012, because of problems with alcoholism.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Jockey Tyler Baze was removed from his mounts at Betfair Hollywood Park on Thursday for violating the terms of his contract with the California Horse Racing Board pertaining to substance abuse testing, stewards said.

Baze, who missed more than a year of riding from August 2011 to October 2012 because of problems with alcoholism, met with track stewards Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer and Tom Ward at lunchtime on Thursday after working horses earlier in the day.

“He’s had a setback pertaining to sobriety,” Chaney said. “He’s been taken off until a formal hearing is held.”

The stewards said the formal hearing will be conducted in “seven to 10 days.”

Baze met with racing board investigators Thursday morning before meeting with the stewards.

Baze declined to comment as he left the meeting with the stewards. He was accompanied by his agent, Craig O’Bryan, and Bob Fletcher of the Winners Foundation, an organization that works with people in California horse racing who have substance-abuse issues.

Well known for winning the Eclipse Award as the outstanding apprentice of 2000, Baze, 30, was given a conditional license by the racing board last fall that requires frequent substance-abuse testing. As part of that agreement, Baze must check in with racing board investigators on a daily basis, and is subject to random breath and urine tests.

Baze was suspended 90 days in October 2011, after failing to abide by a testing agreement, conduct detrimental to racing, and for lying to Del Mar stewards about the circumstances of a missed Breathalyzer test on Sept. 1, 2011. In addition to the suspension, he was ordered to attend a 30-day residency treatment facility for alcoholism.

Baze was reinstated last September. He resumed riding last October and rode a winner on his first day back, at Santa Anita. He finished 2012 with 27 winners. This year, Baze has ridden 73 winners. At the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting that ended on April 21, Baze finished fifth in the standings with 45 wins.

Going into Thursday’s program, Baze was part of a four-way tie for the lead in the jockey’s standings with Rafael Bejarano, Joe Talamo, and Edwin Maldonado, all of whom had 31 winners at the current spring-summer meeting.

Baze has won six stakes since his return to riding last fall, the most recent of which was the Grade 3 San Simeon Handicap aboard Chips All In at Santa Anita in April.