A year ago, Gary Stevens hadn’t ridden in a horse race since 2005. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1997, the jockey had retired at age 42, going on to train horses briefly before becoming a broadcaster for NBC’s and HRTV’s racing programs.
On January 3 of this year, he announced that, at age 49, he was returning to the saddle, and as 2013 comes to a close, he’s made a strong case to be among the three Eclipse Award finalists for outstanding jockey. Finalists will be announced on January 8, and the Eclipse Awards ceremony will be held on January 18 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida.
“I set really high goals for myself,” said Stevens recently from California, where he lives and does most of his riding. “But after a seven-year absence and being 50 years old, there’s no way I expected this.”
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