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Gary Stevens        

Hall of Fame Jockey, Broadcaster for NBC and HRTV, Actor

Gary Stevens was born March 6, 1963 in Caldwell, Idaho into a family of horse people. He came to racing naturally, his father, Ron, is a trainer and had him grooming horses at age 8. His mother was a rodeo queen. His brother Scott is a jockey. Before he was 14, Gary was riding winners in quarter horse races at the bush tracks and fairs.

He rode his first thoroughbred winner Lil Star for his dad - in his first start - at 16 in 1979 at Les Bois Park in Idaho. Soon he became the top jockey in Washington, winning riding titles at Longacres in 1983-84. He moved his tack to Southern California where after a rocky and homesick start, his career skyrocketed. He won riding titles at Santa Anita four times (1986, 88, 90, 93), Hollywood summer twice (1986, 88): Del Mar twice (1987-88), Oak Tree three times (1986-87, 97), and Hollywood fall four times (1986, 88, 92, 94).

He may have made his name out west but is a familiar face on the Triple Crown circuit. His victories in the Kentucky Derby began in 1988 aboard Winning Colors, which he credits as his most exciting win. This was followed with victories by Thunder Gulch in 1995 and Silver Charm in 1997. Silver Charm came within a whisker of winning the triple crown.

In 1995, Gary won the first and last legs of the series with Thunder Gulch, trained by D. Wayne Lukas. Thunder Gulch finished third in the Preakness.

In 1998 Real Quiet won the Derby and the Preakness and looked to have the Crown wrapped up when Kent Desormeaux had him in front by five lengths in the stretch of the Belmont Stakes. And then along came Gary. In one of the greatest rides in history, Stevens and Victory Gallop caught Real Quiet by a nose to win the mile-and-a-half Test of the Champion.

Gary retired in December of 1999 with debilitating knee pain , but not before he had ridden a colt named Anees to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile the month before. Knee problems have plagued him. He underwent surgery in 1999 to have a cyst removed from his right knee; returned Dec. 26 of that year but announced his retirement that day, citing chronic pain and wear-and-tear on his knees. Prior to that knee surgery were operations in 1995, 1997 and 1998. Following retirement, he became an assistant trainer for Alex Hassinger and the Thoroughbred Corp. but not riding was difficult for him. He resumed riding in 2000.

He was back in the Triple Crown limelight just a few months later with Derby favorite Point Given, son of Thunder Gulch. After suicidal early fractions on a phony-fast racetrack, the Bob Baffert-trainee finished fifth to Monarchos. But it was Point Given, Baffert, Thoroughbred Corp. and Stevens who reigned supreme at Pimlico and Belmont Park, winning the Preakness and the Belmont. Gary feels that Point Given deserved the Triple Crown that year and that Kentucky Derby is perhaps the loss he regrets the most.

In 2003 Gary played the role of George Woolf in the acclaimed and Academy Award nominated movie "Seabiscuit." In the same year he was named one of People Magazines 50 Most Beautiful People.

Gary is married to Angie Athayde-Stevens whom he met of the set of "Seabiscuit." He has four wonderful children from his first marriage: Ashley, TC, Riley and Carlie.

In 2005 Gary retired from racing and became a racing analyst for NBC and TVG. He now commentates for NBC and HRTV and acts as a racing analyst /consultant for IEAH Stables and Pegasus Thoroughbreds.

News


Haskell 2013: Gary Stevens has tough day as Oxbow, Take Charge ...

Hall of Fame rider finished fourth in Haskell with Preakness winner, but pulled horse up shortly after crossing finish line.

For the Jockey Gary Stevens, the Ride's the Thing - NYTimes.com

The jockey Gary Stevens discussed his victory in the Preakness Stakes, roles in the film “Seabiscuit” and the HBO show “Luck.”

At Belmont Stakes, jockey Gary Stevens looking to add chapter to ...

Early Thursday morning, Gary Stevens finished another television interview, but this time he was answering the questions, not asking them. Having worked for ...

Gary Stevens beating grandfather time in comeback at age 50 ...

The saga of Gary Stevens and his resurrection as an active Hall of Fame rider takes an operatic turn Saturday when he goes postward in the Arlington Million at  ...

No finish line: Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens returns to the track ...

Seven years after retiring, Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens is back to racing, hoping to win his fourth Kentucky Derby on Saturday.

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