Baze's uncle three-time Kentucky Derby winner Gary Stevens told the Associated Press that he was shocked over his nephew's death. There was a drunken-driving arrest during a Del Mar meet, said his former agent, Ronnie Ebanks. It was notable because the test was administered at the request of other riders or officials who suspected he might have been intoxicated when he arrived to ride, Oaklawn officials said. The wear is a product of the jockey’s poor decisions. He once served an 11-month stint as agent for Patrick Valenzuela, whose substance abuse issues have made headlines throughout his troubled career. He was hoping a fresh start and a change of scenery might kick-start Baze’s career. “When he got better he had a huge support system from owners and trainers. A combination of messing up and watching my business fall and getting taken off good horses because of it. Tyler Baze is coming home. “To go back and ride the Kentucky Derby again, to go to Dubai and ride the richest race in the world again, to do what I’ve done in the past… to get all that back would be unbelievable,” Baze said. His father, Michael B., rode at Longacres, a racetrack in Washington State that is now closed, and his grandfather was a longtime trainer there. In 2000, another talented rider was not as fortunate. “I’m healthy, I’m strong and I’m ready,” Baze said Thursday during a phone interview. “He wanted to come back to California, and I thought he had found his path back,” Ebanks said. He came from a family of them. Baze, a Washington native, began his riding career as a 16-year-old when his cousin Tyler Baze, also a well-known jockey in the southern California circuit, encouraged him to try the sport. I’m going to do whatever it takes. The extended Baze family is riding royalty on the West Coast. I) and the Pat O'Brien Breeder's Cup Handicap (gr. Two weeks later, Baze finished second aboard Nehro in the Louisiana Derby. Baze knew about winning races and being at the top of his profession, too. Before long, he was the nation’s leading apprentice. Baze's most recent notable win was when he rode Nehro to a win Feb. 21 at Oaklawn. *** The next day it was reported that a preliminary autopsy found no natural cause of death and that toxicology test results would not be available for three weeks. IIT) on Star Over The Bay, took the Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. 100801482, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Cypress), Cypress, Orange County, California, USA ; Maintained by Frances Cope (contributor 46934860) . According to horse racing insiders, the Baze name is well-known. Ebanks is no stranger to struggling riders. Asked to reflect on those issues, Baze was reserved. In 2008, Baze suffered a nasty spill that fractured his nose, a bone in his neck and required a plate inserted under his eye-socket. "To me, he was one of the premier riders in the country as far as me watching every day. KONKOL COLUMN: Pastor Bob Neuman didn't let falling in an open sewer hole stop him from finishing a funeral service. Baze left California to train in Chicago last year, winning the Arlington Park title. He was 34. With the horse racing world still reeling from thee, new reports are emerging that the 24-year-old jockey had been recently depressed and was scheduled to appear in court on a cocaine charge. Earlier that year, he had been diagnosed with bulimia and had struggled through a 62-race losing streak at Del Mar. “It was a lot of work,” Baze remembered. The process was all-consuming. That 24-7 grind went on 365 days a year with no breaks, no slack, no room to breathe. There are creases at the corners of Baze’s eyes, and the eyes themselves are wiser, more seasoned. “It was wake up, work horses, ride, fly, wake up, work horses, ride, fly…” There, failing a routine breathalyzer test, 22-year-old Baze was pulled off his mount and suspended by Indiana stewards. If hindsight is 20-20, his vision is now crystal clear. He felt like he was going insane. It didn’t happen. Gary Baze is Longacres’s career leading rider, and another cousin, Tyler Baze, was the 2000 champion apprentice jockey and is a mainstay on the Southern California circuit. Not sure if this has been posted yet but the jockey Michael Baze was found dead in his car yesterday at Churchill Downs. Where his career was concerned, it seemed as if the sky was the limit. The pressure began to outweigh the positives. The 25-year-old jockey does not like to talk about his struggles – would anyone? They helped ease Michael’s transition from a 15-year-old who was sneaked onto the Del Mar training track for lessons to the dominant Southern California rider who bought himself a $1 million home and a Nissan 350z sports car when winning was easy. The 37-year-old jockey, armed with a new agent and reunited with his family, is eager and ready to go when Santa Anita kicks off its fall meet Friday with a 10-race program.

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