1/16/10 - Gary to Step Away from Training

Gary Stevens will disband his 14-horse stable in California to concentrate on increased work in television leading up to this year’s Triple Crown, the retired Hall of Fame jockey announced Jan. 16.

Due to the expansion of Churchill Downs’ and NBC Sport’s “Road to the Kentucky Derby Series,” with coverage of six Derby prep races, Stevens said he felt it best to concentrate on his positions as a racing analyst for NBC and HRTV. He will also appear in the new HBO horse racing drama “Luck.”
“I spoke with (NBC Sports executive producer) Sam Flood, and the whole NBC racing team is very excited about the extended coverage,” Stevens said. “This will be great for the sport and great for the fans. Although I have a tremendous passion for the sport and love training, I want to be able to put all of my efforts into my broadcast work, and training while doing so spreads me a little too thin.”
“Gary has been an integral part of our Pursuit of the Crown series,” said Amy Zimmerman, executive producer at HRTV. “His expansion with the NBC role will only add to the information he’s able to impart to our viewers.”
Four of Stevens’ horses left his barn on Jan. 15, and the others will be sent to various trainers in the coming weeks. The last starter from the stable he opened in June of 2009 will be Diamondrella in the Jan. 31 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I).
“I appreciate all the support that my owners have shown me throughout these months, and training is something I definitely won’t rule out in the future,” Stevens said.


10/16/09 - ARCADIA, Calif. (AP)—Former Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens saddled his first winner as a trainer, with Higher Incentive winning the third race at Santa Anita on Friday.

Stevens retired in 2005 with more than 5,000 victories as a rider and opened his California-based stable in August. He was 0 for 6 before Rafael Bejarano rode Higher Incentive to a neck victory in the $32,000 claiming race on the turf.

Higher Incentive paid $15.40.

Stevens’ cell phone rang about 10 seconds after his horse crossed the finish line with his father, longtime trainer Ron Stevens, calling.

“It was pretty special,” he said. “He was very emotional and so was I.”

Ron Stevens saddled his son’s first riding winner at Les Bois Park in Idaho, when Gary was 16 in 1979.

“My first win as a jock was nothing like this,” he said. “I haven’t had this kind of emotion ever, ever.”

Stevens continues to work as a racing commentator for HRTV. He won three Kentucky Derbies and eight Breeders’ Cup races during his 27-year career.









Several people have wanted to make donations in Gary's name to his favorite charities. Here are some of them.
California Equine Retirement Foundation (Cerf) www.cerfhorses.org
Glen Ellen Vocational Academy www.glenellenfarms.com/geva
Tranquility Farm - www.tranquilityfarmtbs.com
United Pegasus foundation www.unitedpegasus.com

Gary is very saddened by the death of Winning Colors. she was very special to him being his first Derby and the horse that kick started his career. he wants to pass his condolences on to Gainsway Farm and everyone who was involved with Winning Colors. he also wants to thank all the fans for the emails he has gotten in the last several hours about Winning Colors!

Retired Jockey Gary Stevens Starts Racing Stable
Santa Anita-based Operation Opens June 1

June 1, 2009 - Sierra Madre, CA - Gary Stevens, the Hall of Fame jockey who hung up his tack in 2005 with over 5,000 wins and earnings exceeding $221 million, is opening a California-based racing stable. The newly-organized Gary Stevens Racing Stable Inc. will have stalls at Santa Anita Race Course in Arcadia, Calif., and runners will ship from there to various locations across the United States. 

“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and things finally fell into place,” said Stevens, who also works as an analyst for NBC sports and HRTV. “We’re starting out with several nice horses and looking forward to slowly building up the stable.”

Stevens will be assisted by his son, T.C. Stevens, who worked for Ashford Stud for two years and also gained experience with other California and Florida-based operations before joining his father’s fledgling team.

“It’s a family business,” Stevens said. “My father Ron is a trainer, my brother Scott is a jockey, and my older brother Craig is a breeder.  It was only natural for T.C. to follow in those footsteps as well.”

Stevens, 46, won eight Breeders’ Cup races, a record nine runnings of the Santa Anita Derby, and eight Triple Crown races - including triple editions of the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes – in a racing career that spanned 27 years.  Since his retirement, he has served as a consultant for IEAH Stables and various other racing operations, in addition to his duties as an analyst.

“We met on the set of Seabiscuit,” said Nick Mestrendrea, owner of 2007 Inaugural Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Maryfield. “Gary brought me into the business shortly thereafter and I haven’t looked back. I am thrilled to be on board with him as an owner in his new racing stable and wish him nothing but the best in his new endeavor.”


Filly Drives Preakness TV Ratings Up

The NBC Sports broadcast of the Blackberry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in which Rachel Alexandra became the first filly in 85 years to win the race, had the highest overnight rating since 2004 and the second-highest rating in nearly two decades. 

The race portion (6:00-6:45 p.m. ET) earned an overnight rating of 7.9 and an 18 share, a gain of 27 percent over last year's race (6.2/14) when Big Brown won to take the first two legs of the Triple Crown.  The overnight rating for yesterday's race portion was the highest since 2004 (9.2/20).

All of the segments of NBC Sports' broadcast yesterday showed significant ratings gains:
- The total program (5-6:45) received an overnight rating of 6.3 and a share of 15, up 24 percent from last year (4.7/12), the highest since 2004 (7.2/16), and the second-highest since 1990 (7.8/20).
- The Preakness Stakes special (4:30-5 p.m. ET) posted an overnight rating of 2.7 and a 7 share, up 42 percent from last year (1.9/5).
- The pre-race (5-6 p.m. ET) produced a 5.1/12, up 46 percent from last year (3.5/9).
- The rating peaked from 6-6:30 p.m. ET at an 8.6/19.


5/4/09 - Derby Overnight TV Rating: Best in 17 Years
by Ron Mitchell

NBC Sports' coverage of Mine That Bird's upset victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) earned a 10.2 overnight rating and 22 share during the 6-7 p.m. ET hour when the race was presented, according to data provided May 4 from Nielsen Media Research. The rating showed a gain of 7% from last year's 9.5/21 rating and is the highest-rated overnight for the Derby since Lil E Tee won in 1992.
According to a release from the network, NBC Sports used its "strategic 'Big Event' approach to promote the Kentucky Derby." NBC noted the marketing of the Derby began with its first promotion on Super Bowl Sunday. In an effort to broaden the Kentucky Derby's audience by targeting the casual viewer, NBC also promoted the race coverage on the "Today" show, "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno", "NBC Primetime", Bravo, Oxygen, IVillage and its companion service BlogHer.

The "Today" show was live from Churchill Downs with Al Roker and Amy Robach on Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday the winning jockey, trainer and owners were interviewed live on program.

NBC Sports's coverage of the Derby was overseen by  producer Sam Flood and director David Michaels. NBC Sports' coverage of May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) from Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Md., begins at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Stevens endorses overhauled Santa Anita Park surface

Racing Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens gave a ringing endorsement on Saturday of the completely overhauled synthetic track at Santa Anita Park.

“This is the best track I’ve ever been on,” said Stevens, who estimated he has ridden on 200 to 300 tracks around the world during his career.

Stevens breezed a horse on the surface on Saturday during an early morning private session that attracted almost no media attention. Stevens then delivered his glowing report to Santa Anita President Ron Charles; Ian Pearse, the Australian founder of Pro-Ride synthetic surfaces who oversaw the renovation; Richard Tedesco, Santa Anita’s track superintendent; and Ted Malloy, lead track consultant for Santa Anita’s arent company, Magna Entertainment Corp.

“Wow, this is huge,” said Charles, who, along with the others, was standing on the track during the test run. “I’ve never seen Ian [Pearse] this happy.”

During a later interview, Stevens repeated his endorsement.
“If this track is maintained properly and it remains as it is today, I can truthfully say it’s the best track I’ve ridden on,” said Stevens, who has been riding regularly in the mornings at Del Mar in preparation for a legends race during the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita Park.

Winning Colors (Caro {Ire}), one of only three fillies to win the GI Kentucky Derby, was euthanized Sunday morning at Lexington's Hagyard Davidson McGee Equine Clinic due to complications from colic.

Foaled in 1985, the strapping roan filly beat the boys in the GI Santa Anita Derby, and came back to capture the "Run for the Roses" by a gallant neck over Forty Niner. Third in the GI Preakness and sixth in the GI Belmont S., the Eugene Klein colorbearer then came close to spoiling Personal Ensign's undefeated record not once, but twice. She was beaten just 3/4 of a length in the GI Maskette S., and had the lead until the very last stride in the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff, only to lose by a nose to the Phipps champion.

Winning Colors earned the Eclipse Award as top three-year-old filly in 1988, but could not reproduce her Grade I form at four. She retired with a record of 19-8-3-1 and earnings of $1,526,837.

The mare produced 10 foals, including SP Golden Colors (Mr. Prospector). She has a yearling filly by Mr. Greeley and a two-year-old colt by Orientate. Winning Colors was buried at Greentree Farm, a division of Gainesway. "Winning Colors was always a champion, she had great physical prowess and athleticism, she was one of my father's favorite horses, and everyone at Gainesway is saddened by her passing," said Gainesway President Antony Beck.


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that NBC Sports has won the Media Eclipse Award for National Television – Live Racing, for its production of the 2007 Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky Derby telecast, which was produced by Sam Flood, aired on May 5, 2007 from Churchill Downs in Louisville. With Queen Elizabeth II in attendance, NBC’s two-hour telecast of the 133rd “Run for the Roses” captured the dramatic come from behind victory of Street Sense and the exuberance of winning jockey Calvin Borel during his return to the winner’s circle.

This is the seventh consecutive year that NBC Sports has won the Live Television Media Eclipse Award.

“We are extremely excited to win the Eclipse Award for a terrific telecast.” said Flood. “We had an excellent team of announcers, led by our host Tom Hammond who, year after year, brings passion and dedication and sets high standards for our group that comes through with everyone.”

Flood also credited director David Michaels for securing the crowning moment of Borel returning on Street Sense in front of thousands cheering in the grandstand. “That was the magical moment,” said Flood. “We stayed with him [Borel] on the ride back and captured all the emotion of his achieving a lifelong dream. Obviously, someone in the White House was watching.” That ride earned Borel and his fiancée, Lisa Funk, a trip to Washington, D.C. two nights later for a state dinner at the White House with President Bush and the Queen of England.

As a part of the production, NBC also utilized an aerial camera to isolate Borel guiding Street Sense as he passed 18 horses in the field before taking the lead in midstretch.

NBC’s telecast was hosted by Bob Costas and Tom Hammond, who were joined by analyst Gary Stevens, handicappers Bob Neumeier and Mike Battaglia, and reporters Donna Brothers and Kenny Rice. Tom Durkin was the racecaller. Executive producers were Dick Ebersol and David Neal. Rob Hyland was co-producer of the broadcast.

Judges for the National Television – Live Racing category were: Bob Fishman, director, CBS Sports, Pete Macheska, director, Fox Sports, and Bud Lamoreaux, former CBS Sports producer. The decision of the judges was unanimous.

Eclipse Awards are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing. Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. Awards also are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing.

The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and foundation sire Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies.

The 2007 Eclipse Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, January 21, 2008 at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. For hotel accommodations and Eclipse Awards dinner reservations, contact Debbie Blair at the NTRA’s Lexington office, (800) 792-6872, or e-mail dblair@ntra.com.

The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horse racing interests consisting of leading thoroughbred racetracks, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity of horse racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA web site, NTRA.com.

Arcadia, CA, Nov. 7 -- Legendary Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens has reached an agreement with HorseRacing TV (TM) (HRTV) to serve as an on-air analyst for the network's comprehensive coverage of Thoroughbred racing.

See the HRTV Spot Announcement on YOUTUBE. It is great.

Stevens, whose career spanned 27 years, encompassing over 5,000 victories and more than $221 million in purse earnings will join HRTV's stable of analysts on January 1, 2008.   In addition to his long-term commitment to HRTV , Stevens will continue to serve as an analyst for NBC Sports.  Prior to joining HRTV, Stevens was an analyst for Television Games Network.

"We're delighted to welcome Gary Stevens to our outstanding group of analysts," said Jim Bates, executive vice president and general manager of HorseRacing TV.  "Gary is a talented, highly-respected figure in Thoroughbred racing, and has brought the same keen understanding and instincts to the broadcast booth that he had in the saddle.  We're eager to share his interesting perspectives and insights with our viewers."

"I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work together with Jim, Amy Zimmerman, Ron Charles and their talented team at HRTV”, said Stevens.  “As the industry’s network they are making a tremendous commitment to horse racing.  I look forward to using my experience in working together, with the network in delivering a great product to the viewers while, at the same time increasing HRTV’s coverage and fan base.”  

In joining HRTV, Gary also joins executive producer Amy J. Zimmerman, with whom he works with on NBC's broadcasts.    

"The addition of Gary to our team is a terrific statement as to the long-term commitment of HRTV to the horse racing industry," said Zimmerman.  "We've known each other for many, many years and I am honored to have the opportunity to work with him on a year-round basis." 

Stevens will work closely with HRTV's production team to impart his unique experiences and expertise to the network plans for comprehensive coverage of the 2008 racing year.

In 1997, At age 34, Stevens was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall, becoming the youngest person to earn that honor.  A year later, he won the Eclipse Award as the nation's top jockey.  In 1996, he was named the recipient of the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award.  He later earned acclaim for his portrayal of Woolf in the 2003 Oscar nominated blockbuster, "Seabiscuit."

He won virtually all of the sport's biggest races, including eight Triple Crown races -- three Kentucky Derbys, two Preakness Stakes, and three Belmont Stakes. He also piloted eight Breeders' Cup winners during his brilliant career, and won a record nine Santa Anita Derbys.  In 1993, he became the youngest jockey to surpass $100 million in career earnings.   

In his illustrious career, Stevens rode some of the sport's greatest equine stars, including:  Winning Colors, Thunder Gulch, Silver Charm, Point Given, Silverbulletday, Da Hoss, Rock Hard Ten, Bertrando, Singspiel, Victory Gallop, Fantastic Light, and many others.

It has come to Gary's attention that some sellers on E-Bay are offering items with false authentication so please beware..

Gary and his friend Sean Rydell at the recent book signing in Lancaster, CA
This was on St. Patrick's Day at the Antelope Valley OTB. We apologize for not announcing this on the website before the event,