UPDATE: The results of Baze's autopsy have been returned. He died of an "accidental overdose involving cocaine and prescription medication" (oxymorphone). More here.
If there is thoroughbred racing royalty in the Pacific Northwest, the Baze family surely heads it. That royal lineage is down one member now, however, as Michael Baze, a talented young jockey with $1.2 million in winnings this year, was found dead yesterday in his Cadillac near the stables at Churchill Downs, Kentucky. He was only 24 years old.
Baze's body was inside his Cadillac Escalade in the stable area near gate 5, said Jim Wesley, Jefferson County deputy coroner.
No foul play is [suspected], and Louisville Metro Police were handling the matter as a death investigation, said police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley.
Wesley said an autopsy will be conducted Wednesday morning, along with toxicology tests.
Baze is the nephew of Washington Racing Hall of Fame member Gary Baze, cousin of American champion jockey Tyler Baze, and cousin of United States Racing Hall of Fame inductee and North American horse racing's all-time win leader Russel Baze.
Michael grew up in Renton and got into racing early. By this year he had already racked up nearly 7,000 mounts and had 918 wins, bringing in $32.4 million in earnings.
The fact that "no foul play" is suspected obviously suggests a certain type of death, but we'll wait for autopsy results for confirmation.