Despite jockey Ron Hansen's reputation for wild living, he always made his mounts.
So when he didn't show up for the $200,000 Bay Meadows Handicap on Saturday, agent Wayne McDonnell was concerned. Five days later, Hansen is still missing, prompting worry and speculation in the close-knit racing community.
Where Hansen is and what happened to him is a mystery straight out of the pages of a Dick Francis novel.
"It's been real bizarre," said McDonnell, a close friend who's been frantically trying to locate him. "There's been no word from him."
Hansen, one of the Northern California's top riders with almost 3,700 victories, was last seen late Friday night. Early Saturday morning, his sleek Jaguar sports car was involved in a hit-and-run accident on a bridge spanning San Francisco Bay.
Later, the car was found abandoned near the accident site.
Authorities are investing the case but have few leads.