Calvin Borel isn’t the only Hall Of Fame jockey traipsing about the Oaklawn Park barn area these days.
Gary Stevens, who permanently retired from riding in 2018, returned to the Hot Springs track December 1st to begin laying the groundwork for the 2021-2022 Oaklawn meet as the agent for Southern California-based jockeys Geovanni Franco and Tiago Pereira.
Stevens, 58, said he represented Corey Nakatani during one of my retirements and most recently had the book of Hot Springs native Drayden Van Dyke.
“So, not new at it,” Stevens said.
Stevens rode 46 career Winners at Oaklawn, the first coming in the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (G1) in 1985 aboard TANK’S PROSPECT for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Stevens’ last major Oaklawn Victory came in the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) in 2018 aboard SASSY SIENNA for trainer Brad Cox.
Stevens retired for the third and final time later in 2018 because of a neck injury.
He represented Van Dyke earlier this year and continued to work as a racing analyst for Fox Sports and the New York Racing Association.
Now, he’ll be wearing two hats (agent and analyst) the next few months in Hot Springs.
Stevens and the still-active Borel were members of the 2018 Oaklawn riding colony. Stevens rode 26 Winners that year to finish 6th in the standings.
Stevens said he’s tentatively scheduled to work for Fox throughout the expanded 2021-2022 Oaklawn meet, adding that his clients Franco and Pereira also plan to stay until the end.
“We’ll be here until they chase us out,” Stevens said.
Stevens Won more than 5,000 races in his career, including nine Triple Crown events.
He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame in 1997 and Won an Eclipse Award in 1998 as the country’s most outstanding jockey.
The Daily Racing Blog wishes Gary Stevens and his riders the best of luck with the remainder of the Oaklawn meet.