Gary Stevens celebrates his win aboard Mucho Macho Man in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic. (Photo by Eclipse Sportswire)
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens and Chantal Sutherland-Kruse, a two-time Sovereign Award winner in her native Canada, take America's Best Racing's readers inside the jockeys' room in 2014. Stevens and Sutherland-Kruse will provide answers to all sorts of questions such as how jockeys get paid, what goes on between races, whom they admire and what type of music and fashion style they favor.
In this edition of Inside the Jockeys' Room we learn a little more about Stevens, whose comeback in 2013 was arguably the biggest story in horse racing and featured wins in the Preakness Stakes with Oxbow and Breeders' Cup Classic with Mucho Macho Man.
How many horses do you ride in a typical day?
STEVENS: In a typical day I ride a few horses, two to three on a regular day, maybe five on a big stakes day. I try to limit my rides now. When I was younger I tried to ride every race if I had a live mount. I can't do that anymore with my knees, so I pick and choose.
Would you rather win the Kentucky Derby or the Breeders’ Cup Classic and why?
STEVENS: The Kentucky Derby. It is America’s race.
STEVENS WINNING 1995 DERBY ON THUNDER GULCH
Photo by Horsephotos.com
Which living person do you admire most and why?
STEVENS: I admire the old-school horsemen who still do it the old-school way. There are a lot of them. I really admire Leonard Lavin of Glen Hill Farm. He is still doing it the old-school, classy way.
First celebrity crush?
STEVENS: Sally Field in “Smokey and the Bandit”.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
What kind of car do you drive?
STEVENS: I drive a red 2004 Jeep Wrangler. I bought it when I won the Preakness on Oxbow. (I told you I wasn't really extravagant with cars anymore). I also have a Nissan Titan and a Harley-Davidson Heritage Softtail, although I rarely ride the Harley anymore.
Roller-coaster or haunted house?
It’s easier to have fun when … ?
STEVENS: the stars are aligned.
You can never have too many … ?
STEVENS: Derby prospects!!!
Even at my age, I am still able to … ?
HALL OF FAME RIDER MIKE SMITH, STEVENS DAUGHTER MADDIE AND STEVENS
STEVENS: THE COMEBACK KID