Hall of Fame American jockey Gary Stevens set to come out of retirement at Santa Anita
Last Updated: January 3, 2013 9:25pm
Gary Stevens will be back on a horse seven years after retiring
American jockey Gary Stevens will return to racing at Santa Anita on Sunday seven years after retiring.
The 49-year-old, who last rode in November 2005, has been working successfully as an analyst on US television, which he plans to continue, and starred in the film Seabiscuit and TV series Luck.
In 26 years of riding, his mounts amassed over $221m in prize money with his major win including three runnings of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes twice, three Belmont Stakes, eight Breeders' Cup wins, and a record nine wins in the Santa Anita Derby.
The Idaho-born rider was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.
He rode in England for Sir Michael Stoute in 1999, when he also won the Ju dmonte International on Royal Anthem for Sir Henry Cecil, and had a spell in France with Andre Fabre.
Stevens told HRTV: "There's been a lot of speculation, people have seen me out there working horses in the morning, and I'm coming back on Sunday.
"I've worked some exciting horses over the past couple of weeks, and a couple that in particular that made hairs stand up on the back of my neck that I haven't felt in a long time.
"I've been getting healthy and fit and I haven't felt like this since five years before I quit riding, body-wise and mental-wise, and I want to give it a go again."
Among the horses he had worked Stevens pinpointed the former Richard Hannon-trained Strong Suit as the one that had excited him the most.
Owned by Qatar Racing, the five-year-old is now based in California with Simon Callaghan.