02/02/2017 1:10PM

Former jockey Gomez died of meth overdose

Barbara D. Livingston
Garrett Gomez, a two-time Eclipse Award winner, died in December.

Garrett Gomez, the retired rider with 13 Breeders’ Cup victories, died in December of an overdose of methamphetamines, the chief medical examiner of Pima County, Ariz., said on Thursday. Dr. Gregory Hess said toxicology tests confirmed that Gomez died of “methamphetamine intoxication,” or an overdose of the drug.

“Everyone from Day 1 was kind of suspecting that that was the case, and so it was just a matter of running the toxicology tests to determine the drug,” Hess said.

Gomez, who had a history of substance-abuse problems, was found unconscious Dec. 14 in a hotel room at the Casino Del Sol Resort and Casino near Tucson and declared dead at the scene. Friends said he had been living in a trailer just outside of Tucson for the past several years after splitting with his second wife.

Gomez, who won two Eclipse Awards as champion jockey, struggled throughout his career with drug and alcohol dependency. He had not ridden since late 2013, when he acknowledged to California regulators that he was seeking treatment for alcoholism. A year earlier, he had co-written an autobiography detailing his struggles with drugs and alcohol.

Gomez was 44 at the time of his death.