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Veteran jockey and Tucson native Garrett Gomez found dead at 44

Posted at 10:55 PM, Dec 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-31 14:09:36-05

Two-time Eclipse Award winning jockey Garrett Gomez has passed away at the age of 44.

Gomez won 13 Breeders' Cup races and was aboard Blame for his victory over Zenyatta in the 2010 Classic at Churchill Downs. 

The Tucson native won nearly four thousand races in his career, which began in New Mexico in 1988. He retired in 2015, but his last race was in 2013. His Eclipse Awards, given to horse racing's most outstanding jockey, came in 2007 and  2008. Gomez led the nation in earnings from 2006-2009.

According to the Daily Racing Form, citing sources, he died of a drug overdose on Wednesday at an Indian casino near Tucson. The tribal police responsible for investigating his death had released no information.

Gomez co-authored the book, "The Garrett Gomez Story: A Jockey's Journey Through Addiction and Salvation."