Trainer Jeff Jacobs, 40, was found dead at his condominium in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on Tuesday morning, apparently of natural causes. A press release from Oaklawn Park, where Jacobs had 22 horses at the time of his death, said there were no signs of foul play.
According to Oaklawn Park, Jacobs' body was discovered early on Tuesday morning by officers of the Hot Springs Police Department, along with trainer Steve Hobby, who had been searching for Jacobs. The release said Jacobs had not been in touch with representatives of his stable since Sunday and Hobby had gone to Jacobs' residence to look for him.
According to the Associated Press, Jacobs suffered from diabetes, and a coroner said complications from the disease may have played a role.
``He had a history of diabetes,'' said Rick Albaugh, Garland County deputy coroner. ``It was obvious he had checked his blood sugar before he lay down. He was obviously not feeling well and apparently died in his sleep. There was no sign of trauma or anything.''
Racing mainly in Arkansas, Kentucky, and New York, Jacobs won 166 races with 970 runners and purses of $4,423,502. His greatest successes came with horses for the Choctaw Racing Stable of Perry and Dwight Sutherland of Kansas City, Missouri. His best runners included Sister Act, a multiple graded stakes winner of $579,394, and 1995 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap winner Hot Jaws, Jacobs' first major winner at Oaklawn.
Jacobs' horses at Oaklawn are being handled by his assistant, Jennifer Boles.
Funeral arrangements are pending through Ballard Funeral Home, Benton, Arkansas.