Former jockey James Long dies in car crash
SHELBYVILLE, Kentucky (AP):
James Long, a jockey who won more than 300 races in his career, has died in a car accident. He was 62.
Shelby County (Kentucky) Sheriff's spokesman Jason Rice said that Long died Tuesday night after losing control of his car and veering into a grassy median while travelling east on I-64 near Shelbyville. Long's car catapulted before landing on its nose. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene.
DRUG, ALCOHOL NOT FACTORS
Rice said that neither drugs nor alcohol is considered a factor in the wreck, but the investigation is ongoing, and toxicology reports are pending.
One of racing's few African-American jockeys when he started in the mid-1970s, Long won 309 races and earned more than $2.7 million in 4,029 starts from 1976 to 2008.
Long, born in New York City, won multiple-stakes races and earned his first as an apprentice aboard Valid Appeal in the 1975 Dwyer Handicap at Belmont Park, guiding the 14-1 long shot to a three-length victory on a sloppy track.
The Frankfort, Kentucky, resident had recently worked as a steward and clerk of scales at Hazel Park Raceway in Michigan.
"He was real professional and a diligent worker," Hazel Park assistant director of track operations Mike Stommen said of Long. "Just a pleasant person to work with."
NOTE: James Long also rode at Caymanas Park in Jamaica during the 1990s.