Overheard at ROYAL ASCOT

“I get as much of an adrenalin rush out of acting as in
riding in races. As far as retirement is concerned, I
have no time line. I was a raving lunatic for the 11
months that I spent out and I love mixing the two
professions together.”


Which is your favorite race?

It's gotta be the Kentucky Derby. No question about it.

What was the most memorable moment of your racing career?

Riding Winning Colors in the 1988 Kentucky Derby. [It was Stevens' first Triple Crown win]

On beating Shoemaker's record for winning the Santa Anita Derby (G1) with his 9th win, Gary said:

"When I won the first time with Winning Colors in 1988, I thought it was great to win such a big race. I could never imagine winning two or three, much less nine and breaking Shoemaker's record. "

What's the hardest part of being a jockey?

At the level of competition that I'm at at this point, it would have to be the travel and the constant weight reduction.

Who has had the biggest impact on your career?

Definitely my mom and dad and my older brother Scott who is also a jockey. When I got in the limelight and was riding all the big races a lot of your peers look at you as bigger than life. It's really hard to get advice from your peers, but my older brother - he's not afraid to call me up when he sees that I'm in a slump and tell me what I'm doing wrong. Being a jockey is very similar to any other professional athlete - you can have talent, but when it comes down to the big day, it's 90% mental. If you're not mentally focused, you're going to make mistakes and it going to make you pay in the long run.