04/11/2012 3:06PM

Santa Anita notes: Tyler Baze looking to return soon

Benoit & Associates
Tyler Baze failed to take a required Brethalyzer test last summer.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Jockey Tyler Baze, who has not ridden since August because of a suspension for failing to take a Breathalyzer test, is scheduled to meet with Los Alamitos stewards this weekend in an effort to gain reinstatement this month.

The rider said in a phone interview on Wednesday that he is “definitely” ready to return to riding.

Baze is hoping to gain an immediate reinstatement to resume exercising horses, and hopes to be riding races by the opening weekend of the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting that begins on April 26.

“That’s pretty much the plan,” he said.

Los Alamitos stewards Albert Christiansen, Jim Dreyer, and George Slender said they expect to meet with Baze on Saturday afternoon to discuss the rider’s completion of a 30-day residency rehabilitation program that was part of the terms of a suspension issued last fall.

Baze said on Wednesday that he is optimistic he will be reinstated soon. “I’ve done everything they’ve asked me to do,” he said.

Slender said the stewards will be seeking proof that Baze has undergone the rehabilitation program and will discuss with him the terms of a testing agreement that will be part of an expected reinstatement.

Under the proposed agreement, Baze must be available for alcohol testing each day racing day and will be required to undergo counseling administered by the Winners Foundation, Slender said. A violation, including the consumption of alcohol, would result in another suspension.

“There will be strict conditions,” Slender said. “If he drinks alcohol, that’s it.”

The Winners Foundations aids people in racing with substance abuse problems.

Slender said that following Saturday’s hearing, the terms of the formal agreement will be completed early next week. Baze is expected to meet with the stewards again on the weekend of April 21-22 to sign the agreement, Slender said. Baze said on Wednesday that he would like to exercise horses before the second hearing is conducted.

The Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s outstanding apprentice of 2000, Baze, 29, was cited at Del Mar last August for 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.

The suspension was heard by the Los Alamitos stewards because Del Mar stewards Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer, and Tom Ward were actively involved in Baze’s case on the morning of Sept. 1, seeking his whereabouts.

Los Alamitos stewards suspended Baze for 90 days last October, retroactive to Sept. 1. Baze could have started the residency rehabilitation program last fall, but did not do so until early March after he was hospitalized on the first weekend of the month because an alcohol-related illness.

◗ There was no main track training at Santa Anita on Wednesday because of early morning rain.

There was no disruption to training at Hollywood Park, which has a Cushion Track synthetic surface. Among the workers there was the unraced 3-year-old filly Eblouissante, a half-sister to 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta.

Trained like Zenyatta by John Shirreffs, Eblouissante worked five furlongs from the gate in 1:02.60. Shirreffs said last month that Eblouissante could make her career debut at Hollywood Park in coming weeks.