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.