07/25/2010 7:56PM

Jockey Tyler Baze out for at least three weeks


DEL MAR, Calif. - Tyler Baze is expected to miss at least three weeks and possibly as much as two months after suffering facial injuries when he was struck by the head of his mount before Saturday's fifth race at Del Mar, according to his agent, Vic Stauffer.

Baze was hospitalized on Sunday and was scheduled to meet with doctors to determine whether he would need surgery for fractures near his right eye, Stauffer said.

The field for Saturday's fifth race was behind the starting gate when Baze's mount, Night Justice, threw his head back and struck Baze. The jockey was unseated and was quickly taken to first aid, and then to a local hospital. Baze was hospitalized on Saturday night.

Stauffer said that Baze suffered a broken nose and fractures in the orbital bones near his right eye. The eye was also swollen shut and the jockey suffered a bruised retina.

It was unclear how much time Baze would miss, Stauffer said. It will depend on how quickly the swelling subsides and what doctors tell him about the fractures.

"It could be three weeks and it could be eight weeks," Stauffer said.

Baze was scheduled to meet with plastic surgeon Jeff Umansky on Sunday. Umansky aided jockey Rafael Bejarano when he suffered a facial injury during the 2009 Del Mar meeting, and missed five weeks of racing.

Bejarano, along with jockeys Alonso Quinonez and Jose Verenzuela, visited Baze in the hospital on Saturday.

Through Saturday, Baze, 27 had 4 wins in 24 mounts in the first four days of the Del Mar meeting.