Jockey Tyler Baze earned his 2,000th career victory Aug. 14 at Del Mar, snapping an 0-for-46 skid as he attempted to reach the milestone.
He rode 2-1 favorite Kate's Event to a 2 1/4-length win in the third race, a $50,000 claiming event at one mile on the Polytrack. Ted West trained the 7-year-old son of Event of the Year for of Phil Bongiovanni's Gulliver Racing. Kate's Event was claimed out of the race by Jerry Hollendorfer.
"It was getting a little frustrating, but now it's over with," Baze said of the wait.
Baze, a 31-year-old native of Seattle, comes from a racing family in Washington state that includes his second cousin, Russell Baze, who is the all-time winningest jockey. Tyler Baze won an Eclipse Award as the nation's top apprentice jockey in 2000.
The jockey, who has battled substance abuse problems in recent years, acknowledged several supporters.
"It took a lot of people to get that done," Baze said of his comeback. "I've been through hell the last few years and it has taken hard work and keeping my mind on the right things. I have to thank the Winners' Foundation, Craig (agent Craig O'Bryan) who stood by me and Jeff (trainer Jeff Mullins)."
Returnng to the winner's circle, Baze was greeted with a banner acknowledging win No. 2,000. Shortly after that, he was doused with a celebratory bucket of water by jockey Joe Talamo.
"I knew it was coming," Baze said. "Joe has been telling me for a week that he couldn't wait to throw a bucket of ice water on me. He got almost as wet as me. It reminded me of my first win. It's special."
Baze came back to win the feature race, too, aboard Fable in a starter allowance for his 2,001st victory.
Fable rallied from next-to-last in the 10-horse field to overhaul Hugh Knew in the final furlong and win by 2 3/4 lengths. Fable ran one mile on Polytrack in 1:37.82 and paid $9.40, $4.80, and $4.