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"The Perfect Ride" - Gary Stevens

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  • "The Perfect Ride" - Gary Stevens

    I just finished this book, and thoroughly enjoyed it! I loved how he describes his various rides on his past mounts during key races. It kept me absolutely engaged from the beginning to end, and only took me 3 days to read I didn't realize that he had been married so young, and all of the medical issues he was faced with from an early age. I recommend this book to any racing fan (from the casual observer to the die-hard fan).

  • #2
    Thanks for the recommendation.


    • #3
      I got it from Paperbackswap (FREE BOOKS!!!!!) a few months ago, and I, too, enjoyed it and definitely kept this one instead of throwing it back into the Paperbackswap pond. Interesting throughout. I was a bit leery, as this immediately followed my getting the new Affirmed book, and I hoped it wasn't another badly written racing book - about Affirmed, don't waste your money or even your time if it's a free book. But this one was very well done.


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by dressagetraks View Post
        I got it from Paperbackswap (FREE BOOKS!!!!!) a few months ago, and I, too, enjoyed it and definitely kept this one instead of throwing it back into the Paperbackswap pond. Interesting throughout. I was a bit leery, as this immediately followed my getting the new Affirmed book, and I hoped it wasn't another badly written racing book - about Affirmed, don't waste your money or even your time if it's a free book. But this one was very well done.
        Mine came from paperbackswap also!


        • #5
          I read that a long while ago, very insightful book, great read!


          • #6
            I liked the pictures
            Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
            Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.


            • #7
              I've read this book a number of times and it never gets old. I absolutely love it.


              • #8
                Evidently he is still seeking the perfect ride as he's announced that he'll come out of retirement and will return to riding beyond just a one-off race. Time will tell if his body can match his enthusiasm.

                Announcement JAN 3, 2013

                Gary Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens announced Thursday afternoon on HRTV that he would be making a return to the saddle and has accepted a mount for trainer Jim Penney Sunday afternoon at Santa Anita.

                Stevens, who will turn 50 Mar. 6, retired from competitive riding in November 2005 and has since been a fixture on the Television Games Network (TVG), HRTV and serves as the lead analyst on NBC's coverage of the Triple Crown. Stevens, who played George Woolf in the 2003 motion picture 'Seabiscuit, was also featured in the HBO series Luck in 2011.

                A three-time Kentucky Derby winner (1988, 1995 & 1997), Stevens said he feels he is in good physical form and that he's been exercising horses at Santa Anita for about eight weeks.
                I just don't see this working out with any real satisfaction. Exercise riding fit and racing fit being two different levels. Look at PVal in the last year - he was race fit, still having his solid skill to read a race, even had the mount on a top notch horse, but getting frequent mounts was hard work and his knees finally did him in.

                Maybe this will be just a one and done lark.


                • #9
                  Regarding his weight from his comments today to the BloodHorse (Jan 3, 2013)

                  Stevens said his weight had ballooned to 146 pounds at one point, though he had recently maintained it at 132 to 135. After going through the intensive training regimen and changing his diet, Stevens said he "got down to 119 without even trying."

                  Stevens said he will ride while continuing to serve as an analyst for HRTV and with NBCSports while he rides races, but plans to selectively pursue mounts.

                  "I don't think you'll see me ony any maiden $25,000 claimers," he said. "I'm going to be very selective on what I'll be riding."
                  First mount: Santa Anita Sun (1-6-13) Race 6 aboard PP#3 Washington-bred runner Jebrica in a $45,000 race. Jebrica is in for a $50k claiming tag.


                  • #10
                    Yeah, I don't see this comeback lasting too long. How many other jobs has he had since his retirement from riding? His resume' would put me off if I was looking to hire
                    "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


                    • #11
                      After "Seabiscuit", Stevens was all set to make his fortune in Hollywood, as "everyone said he was a natural actor".

                      He was/is a good rider, no doubt, but boy, does he have an ego.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Toadie's mom View Post
                        Yeah, I don't see this comeback lasting too long. How many other jobs has he had since his retirement from riding? His resume' would put me off if I was looking to hire
                        I think it will be the last statement that really rings true: if you're an owner or trainer why opt for Gary? The SA jockey colony is deep. Even if Gary has some degree of his old talent back he's still effectively just a hobby rider. If he doesn't hit the board it might hurt his ego but not his wallet. He's not riding to pay the rent

                        For that I only see him getting mounts whereby adding him adds some cache - "look, Gary Stevens rode our horse Potato Joe" - or frankly the trainer couldn't get Go-go, Leparoux, Martin Garcia, Joe Tallamo, Tyler Baze, Cory Nakatani, Rafael Bajarano ...

                        He will uncertainly add several more occupied seats into the stands on Sunday and more views on tv. Both are good things but will be short lived.


                        • #13
                          I'll give the "old man" props for his ride - it did looks like the GS of old and he was just barely nipped at the wire for a very close 3rd. Maybe lost by neck to second and then just 1/2 length from the winner. This on a horse that isn't a turf horse but was certainly position just right to make an honest run at victory.

                          Up next is a maiden race on Friday for trainer Richard Mandela.


                          • #14
                            For the trivia folks: Gary's last (prior) ride was a horse by the name of "Scandalous" (Santa Anita Race 4) Oct. 18, 2008 - he finished 3rd on that mount.


                            • #15
                              I saw the race and thought he looked good.


                              • #16
                                Video replay: Gary Stevens Jan-6-2013 in Race 6 @ 1-Mi on turf

                                Friday, he has one mount, riding the 3-year-old maiden filly Readyforhercloseup in the third race, over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course. Readyforhercloseup is trained by Richard Mandella for Gerald Ford’s Diamond A Racing.


                                • #17
                                  Was in great condition! The patience was still there. Has so much talent. Doubt he'll be looking to make huge numbers, but more pick up quality rides. Definitely didn't detract from the outcome of the race!

                                  Interesting in one of his interviews, how he remarked that he asked one of the younger jocks to stay away as he was getting into his zone close to the race, and guess the younger guy didn't take the hint at first. GS was slightly apologetic afterwards, though not remorseful, and can't blame him. Someone for the rest to still emulate how to do things right.

                                  Also mentioned on HRTV - Leparoux's encouragement on the backside, as his horse was backing off. Oh, to be a fly (with sticky feet!) on a racehorse's flank!
                                  But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson


                                  • #18
                                    As cited: next up - Friday Race 3 with PP#1 "Readyforhercloseup" a $56k turf race - downhill at 6 1/2 F.


                                    • #19
                                      Gary did a Q&A with the DRF's Steve Steve Andersen in regards to the return ...

                                      So how active can racing fans expect you to be? I’ll let that play out. I’ll see what comes to me, if I can get a horse for [Bob] Baffert, [Richard] Mandella, or my old buddy [Patrick] Biancone.

                                      What are you plans for the spring? I expect to be at Keeneland on opening day. I still have a house there in Louisville. We’ll see what develops here. A lot depends on the next month and a half.

                                      Where do you think you’ll be in six months? I’d like to see this year and next year out. You never know about injuries, and all the unknowns. There will be a setback. I’m hoping that we’re looking at a good five years. I’d have to say that’s my goal. I’d be happy with that.
                                      Five years


                                      • #20
                                        Gary has now retained a jockey agent who is also a writer ...
                                        Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens has hired John Perrotta as his agent, he said.

                                        Perrotta, a former jockey agent on the East Coast, was most recently a writer on the HBO television series “Luck.

                                        Stevens, 49, returned to full-time riding after a seven-year break last Sunday, finishing third with his comeback mount. He has one mount on Saturday, Branding, in a maiden race for 3-year-old fillies. Sunday, Stevens has four mounts, including Tale of a Champion in the San Gabriel Stakes.
                                        The San Gabriel is a Grade 2 $150,000 turf race for 4-yr olds and up at 1 1/8 mi.

                                        So certainly a far cry from the $50k claiming of his first return run.