A two-time Eclipse Award winner has died at the age of 44. Garrett Gomez, a brilliant jockey, died of a reported drug overdose Weds. near Tucson, according to the Daily Racing Form.
He officially retired from racing in 2015 but had been off the track since 2013.
Gomez certainly battled his share of demons, but when he was on, there were none who were better. I’m not sure I’ve seen a rider who was a stronger finisher than Gomez. He won 13 Breeders’ Cup races in his career; and was aboard Blame when he shocked Zenyatta in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2010 in one of sport’s most iconic races ever.
Gomez rode for Jungle Racing as well. He won us our first stakes race ever, winning the Sandy Blue Handicap on Mizdirection back in 2011. And won us our first graded stakes race when he won the Monrovia early the following year.
He was a good dude and a great athlete. And passes way too young. Sad story.