A young rising horse jockey from Glendora was found dead near Churchill Downs in Lousiville, Ky.
Michael Baze, 24, was found dead in his vehicle Tuesday at 4:47 p.m. EDT near the horse track area of Churchill Downs, according to Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Jim Wesley.
According to reports, there were no signs of foul play, although an investigation is currently underway.
Originally from a small town in Washington, Baze purchased a home in Glendora, Calif. in 2007.
Churchill Downs spokesperson John Asher said Baze comes from a family of horse jockeys – Baze’s cousin was Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze, and his uncle was a retired jockey. Baze had been riding since he was 16, and was the leading rider at Arlington Park last year, the Associated Press reported.
Baze’s most recent notable win was when he rode Nehro to a win Feb. 21 at Oaklawn.
Baze’s riding record includes 238 mounts this year with 34 wins, 41 second places and 38 third places, and his mounts earned nearly $1.2 million, according to Asher. He had 6,969 career starts with 918 wins with mounts earning $32 million.
"He had so much potential down the road," Asher told the Associated Press. "It doesn't make sense to any of us right now."
[UPDATE] It was first reported that Baze had rode Nehro at the Kentucky Derby. Baze did not race at the Kentucky Derby.