Jockey Gary Stevens is returning to the Kentucky Derby starting gate this year. After seven years of retirement, Stevens will be back in the irons aboard Derby starter Oxbow.
50-year-old Stevens says he began to feel the urge to return to the saddle about a year and a half ago, and became more serious about a comeback after starting a new training regimen. He says stepping away and working as an NBC racing analyst have given him a fresh perspective.
"I’ve got a new appreciation for what I had and what I have now, and the opportunities that I’ve received," Stevens says. "I don’t feel a lot of pressure going into this Derby and I’m very at ease with it."
Stevens has ridden three Kentucky Derby winners, including two from the barn of Oxbow’s trainer D. Wayne Lucas.