03/03/2012 2:55PM

Tyler Baze expected to enter rehab shortly


ARCADIA, Calif. – Tyler Baze, who has not ridden since last summer because of a suspension for failing to take a Breathalyzer test, was hospitalized on Friday night because of an alcohol-related illness, according to a friend of the family.

The Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s leading apprentice of 2000, Baze was expected to be hospitalized over the weekend. He is expected to seek counseling upon his release, according to his former agent, Ivan Puhich.

“They’re going to take him to a rehab center,” Puhich said on Saturday morning. “I went by and saw him this morning.”

Puhich said he did not press Baze for details of his hospitalization.

“I didn’t want to put pressure on him,” he said. “I told him I’m his friend and I could do what he wants. He’s a good guy.”

Baze’s wife, Christina, did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Baze, a 29-year-old former leading rider in Southern California, was suspended last October for 90 days, retroactive to Sept. 1, for failing to take a Breathalyzer test at Del Mar. The jockey was cited 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.

As part of the suspension, Baze was required to attend a 30-day residency rehabilitation for counseling before he could be reinstated to ride.

The Oct. 28 ruling also stated that Baze must undergo counseling administered by the Winner’s Foundation, an organization that supports racing industry participants with substance abuse problems.

The suspension was heard by Los Alamitos stewards George Slender, Albert Christiansen, and James Dreyer 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.

In recent months, fellow jockeys and officials with the Jockeys’ Guild have reached out to Baze in an effort to coax the rider into rehabilitation, according to Darrell Haire, the western regional manager of the Guild.

“I’ve had numerous meetings with Tyler,” said Haire, a member of the board of directors of the Winner’s Foundation. “He’s not been listening to people who love and care for him.

“We’ve spent a lot of time with him. We’re all there for him. We don’t know what to do. Everyone is doing what they can to help him.”


ANNA More than 1 year ago
I wish someone Tyler trusts could get close enough to him to explain that since he suffered the orbital fracture to his eye, the primary problem is physiological (impaired or double vision -diplopia; cognitive impairment to the brain's frontal lobe which can affect the ability to problem-solve and think rationally, etc.). If he were to know that this is a PHYSICAL ISSUE, perhaps he can work it out from there and with the help of a good neurologist (i.e Dr. Rahul Jandial, Asst. Professor, Division of Neurosurgery, City of Hope, Duarte, CA.) he can get the PHYSICAL HELP HE NEEDS. THEN HE CAN COMBAT THE OTHER PSYCHOLOGICAL DEMONS (alcohol, pain pills?) AND GET BACK ON TRACK. Godspeed to you Tyler for a full recovery. Your health comes first...my prayers are with you. Miss you.
Vic Bullock More than 1 year ago
Doesn't sound like he wants to return to horse racing in any manner !
Morris More than 1 year ago
i wish it wasnt true, but i think most of the jockeys have to deal with bouts of acl. & drug abuse. @ some point in their career. i know i did. but i would like to add a peice of advise. if you are a jockey ,with some degree of sucess.& after your search for that bigger high, is over. & you have rehabed to a certain degree. you will look back & admit to yourself. that any high that achieved, will not compare to the high of winning horse races. wither it be dope , acl. other sports, (rodeo,playing polo, flying airplanes, racing cars or boats).non of it will compare to a calavry charge of horses coming down the lane.,one up&one down,all the while you are telling yourself "stay kool ,dude you gotem." its the greatest high of all. after you have been there , there is no use in looking for a greater high. because its not out there. it doesnt excest. people who havnt been ther dont understand. but if thats where you are now. then god bless you. some of us never get completely over it. not even after 35 years. we just learn to live with it.
Jeffrey Mathews More than 1 year ago
best wishes 2 t-baze but he's the only 1 that can accept the help it's his life everyone trying 2 force him not good. b willing 2 help but it is totally his choice unfortunate that some of us choose destruction, i pray 4 all addicts 2 conquer & live u don't hav 2 b micheal baze but if u do i understand.
Elizabeth Boller More than 1 year ago
Glad to have an update. You know how it is on the track, the news is bad and gets worse with each telling.