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.