gary-stevensMaybe Gary Stevens didn’t call it a career on his own terms. But he was blessed with a good head on his shoulders and a lot of common sense. He knew when he was told to retire or else, he did.

Who is Gary Stevens

Gary Stevens is an American horse racing jockey. He has also acted and is now a sports analyst. He became a professional jockey in 1979 and rode his first of three Kentucky Derby winners in 1988. He has also won the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes three times each.

He also won 10 Breeders’ Cup races and is a nine-time winner of the Santa Anita Derby. He entered the United States Racing Hall of Fame in 1997.

His career was maligned with significant injuries and periods of temporary retirement due to knee problems from 1999 until 2000, and again from 2005 to 2013.

He had an acting role in the 2003 film Seabiscuit. After his second retirement from riding in 2005, he worked for TVG and then HRTV and NBC Sports as a horse racing analyst for seven years. Due to his multiple joint replacements, “The Bionic Man” became one of his nicknames.

When asked about his past career, he said, “It’s long gone. It would have been different if I had to make the decision, but when the doctor makes it for you and tells you what the circumstances will be if you hit the deck again, it makes it pretty simple and I’ve accepted it.”

Stevens retired on Nov. 20 of 2018 after suffering a spinal injury. Doctors said it could lead to a serious issue if he were to fall, and that was that, although Gary’s success has been intertwined with significant injuries in the past that caused several actual retirements.

On February 7, 2019, he joined NYRA and Fox Sports as a racing analyst, making his debut on Fox Sports Saturday at the Races this spring.

Gary said life behind the mic is “pretty much done for the year now. I did my last show last weekend and will start back up probably in February. The NYRA gig went really well, and my summer at Saratoga was one I’ll never forget.

“Being on the other side of the grandstand there was exciting. I saw some great racing, it was great to cover it, and I was very happy there.”

Stevens was never one to put all his eggs in one basket. He received rave reviews for his acting debut portraying George Woolf in the 2003 hit film “Seabiscuit”. He earned accolades for his contribution on the HBO series “Luck”. And he was named one of the world’s 50 sexiest men by People Magazine.

He won nine Triple Crown races, three in each leg, and was elected to racing’s Hall of Fame in 1997. On any path, it’s been a wild ride.

“I’m 56 years old and it was a great career,” Stevens said. “I’m proud of it and glad that I had the experience, but now it’s just a new chapter in my life.

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