06/13/2013 4:59PM

Hollywood Park: Tyler Baze taken off mounts

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.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr. Baze Take it one day at a time brother. Think of your wife and kids and if one day at time is too long to think about going without a drink then just take it one hour at a time. Tell yourself I won't drink right now and worry about later when later comes. I miss seeing your name in my PPs, because I believe in your talent as a rider, now show the world you have the heart and guts to get back and stay back in the saddle. -From someone who understands your struggle.
garry More than 1 year ago
so many really good jockeys as well as harness drivers are stuck in this rut success comes at such high standards and many truly gifted successful atheletes fall into this situation I love horse racing and I hope Mr. Baze overcomes whatever obstacles he places up against himself and returns to great success.i like betting on him as he has shown the ability to guide a horse of any stature to the winners circle. good luck to you mr baze
Jim Fields More than 1 year ago
Man it hurts to see this happen again, and he has the best and the worst of examples, right in his own family, Gary, Russell, Joe, etc etc, and on the other hand Mike and Mike and he chooses to follow the losers. Don't try to justify it, he makes enough money to carry around a little conscience on his shoulder, preventing him from making mistakes. Here, again is a great rider, choosing to throw away a million dollar career. I have touted this guy from day one, looked at results daily to see how he does. Just when things are going great, he gets caught. I remember when he was in diapers crawling around my shedrow. I'm sorry to say, I could tell when he was interviewed recently, that it was just a matter of time before he would do a pval. To beat this, it takes more than mouthing the right words, it takes true guts and determination, and he ain't there yet. I hope it isn't too late.
Celeste Shannon More than 1 year ago
Tyler you need to get tough, you are better, much better than this. You can beat this Tyler you have our support. Racing in Calif. just isn't the same without you. Please Tyler work hard at this, pray for help, I am praying for you and will continue to do so. You have had a setback now get up and go on with it, we are behind you 100%, you are our favorite.
Surasak More than 1 year ago
Hey! Look up to your uncle Russell still keeps on trucking in northern Cal. Also look back at your buddy Mike, he was gone. I hope you can see the different and took care of yourself.
Arnold Baxter More than 1 year ago
Tyler has been my go to jockey for some time now.Just because he has liquid lunch or a little toot should not keep him out of the saddle.He has a tremendous safety record and that alone should be all he needs. Geez, everyone celebrates a little bit.Just because millions are bet on this guy and he delivers should not allow him to be punished.Lets go after the "REAL" bad guys who are truly tarnishing the game.
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Wow. Please name the "REAL BAD GUYS".Who tarnish the game. I was a thoroughbred owner, and can tell you sir, first hand, that an intoxicated rider, is as dangerous as an intoxicated driver of an automobile. A little liquid lunch.? There is no such thing as a "LITTLE ", LIQUID lunch to someone who has an addiction. Wise up.
James Love More than 1 year ago
This had to be Tyler' and his agent's best meet ever. You rarely see a rider have near to 3 times the amount of $18 plus winners than any other rider while also having a good percentage of wins on favorites. While doing as well in routes as sprints and as well on dirt as grass, he couldn't be dismissed in almost any race. Not since Patrick Valenzuela's difficulties have I seen such a good rider face the possible loss of career and reputation. Here's hoping this better angels help him to turn this around soon.
Billie Washington More than 1 year ago
I hope Tyler will get back soon, he really is a very good jockey. Billy
Justin More than 1 year ago
This is a major disappointment. The kid seemed to be doing so well and this time I really thought he had made a permanent change for the better. He just seemed to be in a terrific state of mind and he was riding exceptionally well.
PAM More than 1 year ago
Baze is out for sobriety testing, Gomez is out for "personal issues" and Dominguez retired from his injury. 3 Very gifted jockey's. I wish all of them the best.