09/23/2012 6:00PM

Santa Anita: Tyler Baze allowed to resume riding

Benoit & Associates
Tyler Baze began working out horses Sunday, but may not resume riding in races until next month at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Jockey Tyler Baze, who has not ridden since August 2011 because of substance abuse problems, began working horses at Santa Anita on Sunday, a day after having his license reinstated by Los Alamitos stewards.

Baze, who is currently undergoing residency treatment for alcoholism at a clinic in Pasadena, Calif., according to Los Alamitos stewards, is expected to resume riding in October at the Santa Anita fall meeting.

The Santa Anita meeting opens on Friday.

Baze met with Los Alamitos stewards Albert Christiansen, Jim Dreyer, and George Slender on Saturday to request reinstatement and discuss his ongoing treatments, Slender said. The jockey, best known for winning the Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding apprentice of 2000, has been given a conditional license that requires frequent drug testing and other terms, Slender said.

“He’s got to abide by the restrictions we place on him,” he said.

Slender said that Baze’s current residency treatment requires daily testing for alcohol, and that the rider is expected to reside there in the near future.

“I think he’ll be there for some time,” Slender said.

Slender noted that the rider’s demeanor has changed since the stewards last met with Baze in the spring.

“He was a lot different than last time,” Slender said. “He was very happy.”

Baze did not return a phone call seeking comment on Sunday afternoon.

It is not clear when Baze will return to riding. He told Los Alamitos stewards that he wanted to work horses to regain fitness before taking mounts.

Baze was suspended 90 days by Los Alamitos stewards last October 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.

The case was heard by the Los Alamitos stewards because Del Mar stewards were actively involved in Baze’s case on the morning of Sept.1.

Baze could have been reinstated to ride last December, but did not attend the 30-day in-house treatment required by stewards until earlier this year. He was hospitalized in early March because of an alcohol-related illness.  The current residency treatment was not part of the October 2011 stewards ruling.

Baze approached Los Alamitos stewards about a possible reinstatement in April, but the case was postponed after the rider was arrested on an alcohol-related misdemeanor charge in Monrovia, Calif., in May. He was also arrested in late February and late April on unknown misdemeanor charges. Earlier this year, the Monrovia police department declined to state the nature of the charges against Baze.

Baze has won 1,809 races. He missed more than six months of riding,  from late July 2010 to April 2011, after he suffered facial injuries in an accident behind the starting gate at Del Mar.