Gary Stevens was born on March 6, 1963 in Caldwell, Idaho. Coming from a family that boasted a trainer for a father and rodeo queen for a mother, it was only natural for Stevens to propel himself into the equine industry. In 1979 at age 16, Gary rode his first Thoroughbred winner in his first start, a horse named Lil Star trained by his father.
Stevens' career continued to prove successful, with his first Triple Crown race victory in 1988 aboard the filly Winning Colors in the Kentucky Derby. Following this win, Stevens proved best on the first Saturday in May aboard Thunder Gulch in 1995, who would also go on to claim that year's Belmont Stakes. Other equine powerhouses Stevens piloted include Silver Charm, Real Quiet, and Anees. Following knee surgery in 1999, Stevens piloted Point Given to wins in the Preakness and Belmont, a son of his 1995 Derby winner Thunder Gulch.
Stevens was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997, and was the recipient of an Eclipse award in 1998 as outstanding jockey. In 2005, the superstar retired from racing, and followed riding with a career commentating for NBC and HRTV. Unable to remove himself completely from riding, Stevens got back into the saddle and on the track for a 2013 return to racing.
Stevens didn't waste any time making his way to the winners circle, and claimed a win aboard Oxbow in the 2013 Preakness. Stevens then retained the mount to finish second in the Belmont, riding the colt in all three Triple Crown races.
Stevens storybook return continued when he guided Beholder to a victory over two-time champion Royal Delta and top 3-year-old filly Princess of Sylmar in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Distaff. The next day Stevens won the Breeders' Cup Classic for the first time when he and Mucho Macho Man outlasted Will Take Charge to win the $5 million race.