Jockey Michael Baze Hurt After Breakdown

Michael Baze, who led all riders at Hollywood Park and is atop the current Del Mar standings, was thrown in the first race at Del Mar Sunday when his mount, Lyrical Sound, broke down in the stretch of the 1 1/16-mile turf race. Baze was taken to nearby Scripps Hospital in La Jolla for precautionary X-rays of his upper left leg.

He missed mounts in the next five races but when X-rays proved negative, Baze was released. He planned to return for his mounts in the seventh, eighth, and ninth races.

Two horses had to be vanned off after the race for $50,000 claimers. Brice Blanc pulled up Mohawk on the first turn, the 7-year-old mare suffering a possible condylar fracture in her left foreleg that was reportedly not life-threatening. Lyrical Sound fractured her left foreleg approaching the wire and finished fifth. Baze was trying to pull her up and was thrown. The 4-year-old filly had to be euthanized.

Baze was expected to honor his riding commitment on Battle Won, one of the favorites in the $300,000 Bing Crosby Handicap (gr. I).

Through Saturday, the 10th day of the meeting, the 20-year-old Baze had 15 winners to lead second-place Victor Espinoza, who had 10.

Del Mar debuted its synthetic surface, Polytrack, at this summer’s meeting to positive reviews. Horsemen have praised the new main track as safe for horses. However, Lyrical Sound was the second fatality of the meeting on the turf course. Mayor Bozarth broke down in the third division of the July 18 Oceanside Stakes and had to be euthanized after suffering a condylar fracture of his left rear pastern.

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