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Gary Stevens rides Slim Shadey to San Marcos Stakes victory

Grade II race at Santa Anita is the first stakes victory for the jockey, 49, since coming out of retirement in early January and it's only the fourth victory in 24 starts for the 5-year-old horse.

February 09, 2013
  • Slim Shadey and jockey Gary Stevens win the Grade II, $150,000 San Marcos Stakes race.
Slim Shadey and jockey Gary Stevens win the Grade II, $150,000 San Marcos… (Associated Press / Benoit…)

The rider was the bigger story than the horse Saturday at Santa Anita.

Veteran Gary Stevens, a Hall of Fame jockey making the second comeback of his career, bolted from the gate to the lead aboard Slim Shadey in the featured $150,000 Grade II San Marcos Stakes. And stayed right there.

It was only Slim Shadey's fourth victory in 24 starts and Stevens said that trainer Simon Callaghan had the 5-year-old perfectly prepared. It was the first stakes victory for Stevens, 49, since he announced his comeback Jan. 3 and got on his first horse Jan. 6. He had won two other races, but not a major race. Twenty years ago, Stevens also won the San Marcos Stakes.

He had retired Nov. 27, 2005. He had also retired for about a year in the late 1990s.

The race was run at 11/4 miles, Kentucky Derby length and a distance not run frequently. According to Stevens, that didn't seem to bother Slim Shadey a bit.

"I haven't had a lot of horses over the last 30 years," Stevens said, "who sprinted to the finish in a mile-and-a-quarter race."

Slim Shadey paid $13.40, $7.00 and $5.40. Ron McAnally's Interaction, ridden by Joe Talamo, was second, and Peter Miller's All Squared Away, ridden by Garrett Gomez, was third.

—Bill Dwyre

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