Monumental weekend for comeback rider who had a motive: Win for Mom
By J.J. Hysell
Jockey Gary Stevens has had many memorable weekends during his riding career, including last Saturday and Sunday at Santa Anita.
Stevens, 50, tallied four stakes wins – three graded – during that time and five wins overall. He piloted Mucho Macho Man to his first Grade 1 win in the Awesome Again Stakes, Beholder to a front-running win in the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes and Pontchatran to victory in the Unzip Me Stakes on turf.
On Sunday, Stevens guided Indy Point to a scintillating win at 10 furlongs on turf in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship Stakes for trainer Richard Mandella.
On Saturday night, Stevens celebrated a victory by another family member. His son, T.C. Stevens, won his first race as a trainer when Sultry Warrior, 51-1, won a maiden race at Churchill Downs.
It all came together at a time when family was even more prominent in Stevens’ mind.
“My son (T.C.) won a race last night at Churchill and that was really special,” Stevens said Sunday after Indy Point’s win. “My mom had a stroke last Monday, though, and that’s really put everything in perspective.”
Stevens’ tweets from his trip home last Wednesday gave hints as to what was to come, as well as insight into his thoughts.
Stevens tweeted: “Never ever forget how important family is. I was just reminded. Warning shot. Leaving Idaho headed back to So. Cal to make mom proud.”
After his winning weekend, Stevens tweeted: “Thanks to everyone this past weekend for your support and most of all, the great performances of the great athletes that gave me the thrills.”