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Tyler Baze Suspended by Indiana Stewards

October 2, 2005
by Margaret Ransom
Blood Horse
Eclipse Award-winning jockey Tyler Baze was suspended by Hoosier Park stewards on Oct. 1 after a routine pre-race breathalyzer test revealed that he was under the influence of alcohol. Baze was scheduled to ride Southern Africa for trainer Mike Puhich in the $500,000 Indiana Derby (gr. II), but was removed from his mount when he failed the test.

According to steward Gary Wilfert, the 22-year-old Baze blew over the state's legal limit of .05 blood alcohol content.

"(Baze) blew over the state's limit of .05, but how much over I'm not at liberty to say," Wilfert said. "The penalty in the rule book is seven days (suspension). We'll have to talk to Mr. Baze, but whatever days he's off his mounts will count toward his seven days."

Wilfert explained that breathalyzer tests are standard for all jockeys, as well as for all racing officials and valets in Indiana. He said that any jockey testing positive but below the .05 limit would be removed from their mounts for the night and put on probation rather than suspended.

Baze was set to ride several horses at Oak Tree at Santa Anita on Sunday, including Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) winner Leprechaun Kid, the runner-up in the Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Handicap (gr. IT).

"Tyler Baze was removed from his mounts and suspended," Oak Tree steward John Hervuveaux said. "He'll be off all his mounts pending an appearance before the Hoosier Park stewards. We received a phone call and a ruling from Indiana this morning."

Baze earned the Eclipse Award in 2000 as the nation's top apprentice jockey. He won his first race on Halloween six years ago and has visited the winner's circle more than 1,000 times since. His mounts have earned nearly $30 million.

Baze and his agent, Ivan Puhich, couldn't be reached for comment. Baze, who has had a difficult year, including a 62-race losing streak at Del Mar. Puhich recently said that Baze had been suffering from an eating disorder.

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