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Dec 02, 2005

Gary Stevens announces retirement


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens announced his retirement from racing Friday morning at his current home base of Churchill Downs.

Stevens retired briefly in 2000 after suffering from chronic knee pain. During the short-lived 10-month retirement, Stevens worked as a jockey agent and assistant trainer. He also took on a major role in the movie "Seabiscuit," where he starred as jockey George Woolf.

The 42-year-old jockey will join the TVG horse racing network in January as a race analyst.

"I couldn't be more excited about joining TVG," said Stevens. "I'm not retiring from racing, just from riding, and I look forward to giving TVG viewers an insider's look at what takes place on the race track."

TVG Senior Vice-President and Executive Producer Tony Allevato explained Stevens' position with the network.

"Gary's main role will be to give our viewers the perspective of a Hall of Fame jockey, but we're not going to limit him to the analyst's chair," said Allevato. "We'll look for opportunities to utilize him in a variety of roles and on special programming."

The Idaho native, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997, has been aboard three Kentucky Derby winners and eight Breeders' Cup champions. Stevens also won three Belmont Stakes and a pair of Preakness Stakes races.

The 1998 Eclipse Award winner as the country's top jockey, Stevens' Kentucky Derby wins came with Winning Colors (1988), Thunder Gulch (1995) and Silver Charm (1997).

He led the nation in earnings twice, in 1990 and 1998, and became the youngest jockey to reach the $100 million mark. Stevens achieved that record in 1993.

In his career, Stevens has 5,005 worldwide wins and more than $221 million in earnings.

Stevens was scheduled to ride Purim in Friday's Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.

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