Inside the Jockeys’ Room with Gary Stevens

The Life

Gary Stevens guides Candy Boy to a victory in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes in February at Santa Anita Park. (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 will ride Fashion Plate in the Kentucky Oaks on Friday and Candy Boy in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.


Benoit Photo

Do you have any kind of rituals or superstitions before you race? 

Smith, Stevens and Stevens' daughter Maddie

STEVENS: I do have rituals and superstitions, but I'm not giving away my secrets!

What song best describes your work ethic? 

STEVENS: I can't think of a song that describes my work ethic. I have a very strong work ethic.

Have you ever stolen anything from a hotel? If yes, what? 

STEVENS: Yes. Ashtrays. Many. I have a nice little collection. Years ago, I attempted to steal an ashtray from the restaurant Longies in Maui. As I was paying, it slipped out from my shorts and shattered on the floor. They calmly told me that they sold ashtrays in the gift shop. I ended up buying one to replace the one I broke and one to take home. 

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

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

What makes you angry?       

STEVENS: Hmmm. Everything.

Do you do any volunteer work? If so, for whom?    

STEVENS: For retired racehorse charities, children’s charities or racetrack charities.

Which current fellow jockey do you admire the most and why?  

STEVENS: Mike Smith. He is the one who motivated me to come back. 

What was your lucky break?

STEVENS: Winning the Kentucky Derby on Winning Colors. Wayne Lukas giving me the mount. My brother Scott working the horse. How it all came together. 


What’s the magic formula for success?       

STEVENS: Hard work.          

What is your most valued racing memento?           

STEVENS: My belt buckle for leading apprentice at Les Bois Park.        


newsletter sign-up

Stay up-to-date with the best from America's Best Racing!