Inside the Jockeys' Room with Gary Stevens

The Life

Stevens (left) shares a laugh with Laffit Pincay III and Mike Smith while working as a racing analyst. (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. Stevens currently is recovering from knee surgery but plans to make a return to race riding once he's back at full strength. Read on to find out his favorite cocktail and one of his top riding secrets.

Do you talk to other jockeys in between races? Is there much chatter among jockeys during a race? If so, can you give an example of some interesting chatter you’ve been involved with?      

STEVENS: Sometimes we talk to other jocks between races. It depends on the race day and the tension in the room. Sometimes there is chatter during a race, and sometimes there is not. Once again, it just depends on the race.   

What is the fastest you have ever driven a car?     

STEVENS: I drove a race car on a track. I think it was 187 mph, but it may have been faster. I did 184 mph in my Viper back in the day. Dumb.   

I hope scientists find a way to …      

STEVENS: Cure cancer.       

Time always slows down when I am …        

STEVENS: Taking time to smell the roses.

My favorite all-time children’s book is …     

STEVENS: “Curious George”.

Three magazines I subscribe to are …         

STEVENS: The only magazine I subscribe to is the Blood-Horse.          

My favorite cocktail is …       

STEVENS: Anything wet!

JOCKEY MIKE SMITH, STEVENS AND STEVENS' DAUGHTER MADDIE

What was the best advice you ever received from a trainer? What was the result?        

STEVENS: Trainer [Sir] Michael Stoute told me to ride every race like it’s my first race. It has resulted in me winning Breeders Cup races. I don't like that I'm giving away my secrets here.          

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?    

STEVENS: A filet or T-bone, medium rare, or pasta.

Pick two celebrities to be your parents. Who are they?     

STEVENS: Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda from “On Golden Pond”.      

What was your favorite thing to collect as a child?           

STEVENS: Rocks

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