June 25, 2003 by

Chris Valovich

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Categories: Sports

Chris Valovich, a veteran jockey who won 2,034 races, died on June 20 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was 41.
Valovich rode his first winner in 1982 at Louisiana Downs. The following year, he became the leading apprentice jockey at Oaklawn Park. More than 2,000 races later, the five-foot-four, 112-pound jockey rode the winners in 49 stakes races. His mounts earned more than $19 million.
Valovich’s fabulous career was stalled, however, by his drug use. He first tested positive for a prohibited substance in 1988. Fourteen years later, the Arizona Racing Commission refused to renew his license when he failed a drug test.

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