LOUISVILLE, Ky. (CBS/AP) – Jockey Michael Baze was found dead in his vehicle in the stable area of the famed Churchill Downs racetrack Tuesday.
Court records show the 24-year-old Baze, who had deep family roots in horse racing, was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Thursday after being charged with first-degree possession of cocaine in November.
Jim Wesley, a Jefferson County deputy coroner, said Wednesday preliminary autopsy results found no anatomical cause of death. He says the toxicology reports will take three weeks.
According to CBS affliiate WLKY, Baze’s father and uncle were jockeys. Jockey Tyler Baze is his cousin, and U.S. Racing Hall of Fame member Russell Baze, who owns the record for most wins in North American racing history, is his father’s first cousin.
Michael Baze won the riding title at Chicago’s Arlington Park in 2010 and was nearing the 1,000 career wins benchmark.
He had been listed to ride a horse in the eighth race Thursday at Churchill Downs, the legendary Kentucky Derby track.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)