Murder At The Kentucky Derby [UPDATE]

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Unfortunately that is not the name of the next Sue Grafton novel. Word out of Lexington is that a man's body was found in a barn behind Churchill Downs after the running of the first leg of the Triple Crown last night. A spokeswoman for the Louisville police, Alicia Smiley, confirmed that the death has been ruled a homicide and occurred shortly after the race.

Authorities received a call at about 5 a.m. on Sunday reporting a body found in a barn not far from where I'll Have Another, the horse that won Saturday's race, was stabled.

There was no identification on the body, but Smiley said the victim is a Hispanic man.


Update 12:42 p.m.: The Associated Press has some more details, but not many. The body was found by Angel Montano Sr. in the back of a barn he currently occupies at Churchill Downs. Approximately 200 people reside at Churchill Downs either in dorms on the perimeter of the property or in apartments above the barns themselves. It is unclear whether anyone was above Montano's barn—which is just 4 away from the barn occupied by Derby winner I'll Have Another. There was not much discussion about the the events, however.

Instead, I'll Have Another's trainer and owners were participating in the usual post-Derby media interviews and speculating about the next race in racing's Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, in three weeks.

The body was removed by stretcher from the barn at 9:50 a.m., and police were seen packing about a dozen large paper bags into the back of a crime scene unit van. Smiley said an autopsy was tentatively scheduled for Monday.

Update 3:26 p.m.: Bloomberg has some details on the victim.

The deceased wasn't a jockey or an employee of the racetrack, Smiley said. Police are trying to determine whether he worked for a trainer or other person involved in racing, she said. Investigators don't know what the motive was for the killing, and are leaving it to the coroner to determine the cause of death.

Autopsy results are expected tomorrow, Smiley said.

Body found at Churchill Downs; death ruled homicide [MSNBC]
Police: Homicide at Kentucky Derby track [AP]
Kentucky Derby Death Being Treated as a Homicide, Police Say [Bloomberg]