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Stevens Riding Fantastic at Del Mar

Entering the 2012 Del Mar meeting, the last victory at the track for ageless (actually 50 year-old) jockey Gary Stevens had come on September 5, 2004 aboard 6-year-old High and Low Vixen for Ron McAnally in a 7-furlong, $25,000 claiming race. The horse paid $4.60 as the favorite and was one of four wins, with one second and four thirds, for Stevens in 16 mounts at the meet.

The last stakes winner for Stevens was in the 2003 Fleet Treat Stakes aboard Tucked for trainer Paddy Gallagher.

It didn’t take long for Stevens to require updating of the record books.

Stevens won the fourth race on the Opening Day card on Wednesday, aboard Ivanho for Mark Glatt, and added three more in the first week of the meeting, the capper coming aboard Wishing Gate in Sunday’s San Clemente Handicap.

Stevens’ four wins, from only 12 mounts, was good enough for a tie for third in the rider standings behind only Rafael Bejarano (12 for 41) and Martin Garcia (6 for 25). Stevens’ 33 percent win rate was the highest of any Del Mar-based jockeys.

“He’s riding fantastic,” agent Craig O’Bryan said. “The ride in the San Clemente was perfect, you couldn’t have drawn it up any better.”

Stevens will be away from Del Mar more than occasionally during the meeting . He rides Oxbow, whom he piloted to victory in the Preakness last May, in Sunday’s $1 million Haskell Invitational, for example. He’s also committed to captain a team in an international jockey challenge in England.

 

 

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