06/03/2011 5:24PM

Michael Baze died of accidental overdose

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Barbara D. Livingston
Toxicology tests found cocaine and a prescription painkiller in jockey Michael Baze's system, according to the county coroner.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The death of jockey Michael Baze was caused by an accidental overdose involving cocaine and prescription medication, according Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Jim Wesley.

Baze, from the famed family of jockeys from the western United States, was found dead in his vehicle in the Churchill Downs stable area on the afternoon of May 10. He was 24.

The county coroner’s office, which conducted an autopsy with no conclusive anatomical causes for his death, reported Friday that tests found two intoxicants in Baze’s system: cocaine and a prescription medication known as oxymorphone, marketed primarily under the brand name Opana.

Oxymorphone is a pain reliever similar to morphine.

Churchill released a statement that read in part: “The official finding on the cause of death of Michael Baze makes the sudden passing of this talented young rider even more senseless and tragic. Mr. Baze hailed from a great racing family and possessed enormous potential to be a true star in our sport. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his family and friends in this most difficult time.”

Michael Baze career highlights and race replays »