Jockey Garrett Gomez, the winner of 13 races at the Breeders’ Cup, has died at the age of 44.
The winner of 83 Grade One races, Gomez will perhaps be best remembered as the rider of Blame who beat Zenyatta in a dramatic conclusion to the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
It was Zenyatta’s final race after she had won her previous 19.
Gomez rode in his last race in 2013 but did not officially retire until two years later. He had been suffering from substance abuse.
His career began in 1988 but his stellar year was in 2007 when he rode 265 winners and was honoured with an Eclipse Award as the outstanding jockey, a feat he repeated in 2008.
Gomez co-wrote a book about his troubles with alcohol and drug addiction called: The Garrett Gomez Story: A Jockey’s Journey Through Addiction and Salvation.
His daughter, Shelby Gomez, confirmed his death to www.bloodhorse.com, but declined to give details.
Tony Matos, his former agent, said: “He was a great person. That’s all I have to say.
“I’m just so sad. He was such a good person.”