Body Found At Kentucky Derby Track

A horse groomer was found dead at Churchill Downs the morning after the Kentucky Derby.

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Charlie Riedel / AP

An exercise rider works out a race horse during the early morning hours at Churchill Downs Friday, May 4, 2012, in Louisville, Ky.

It sounds like the plot to an episode of Law & Order, but there were no cameras rolling when a body was found at Churchill Downs the morning after the running of the 138th Kentucky Derby.

The body was discovered in barn No. 8 by a track security officer shortly before 5 a.m. ET on Sunday, said Alicia Smiley, a Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman to USA Today. The barn is located on the back side of the track where the hallowed Derby took place the night before the gruesome discovery. The barn is also close to where this year’s Kentucky Derby winner ‘I’ll Have Another’ was stabled.

(PHOTOS: The Kentucky Derby: The 138th Run for the Roses)

The victim has been identified as Adan Fabian Perez, a 48-year-old groom for trainer Cecil Borel. Perez’s 19-year old son, who also works at the track, identified his father. Churchill Downs spokesman John Asher said track officials know little more than the details released by police, but no changes are planned to security on the backside. “We have no reason to believe it’s not an isolated thing at this point,” Asher said to USA Today. Police believe the man was murdered, but a cause and manner of death remain unknown until Monday when an autopsy is scheduled. Police said Perez’s death does not appear to be linked to the Derby.

This is not the first time that tragedy has struck at Churchill Downs. A week after last year’s Kentucky Derby jockey Michael Baze’s body was found in a vehicle near the stables. His death was ruled an accidental overdose.

MORE: What’s that on Your Head? Photos of the Weirdest Hats at the Kentucky Derby

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