Hall-of-Fame rider Gary Stevens’ stakes winning double on Santa Anita’s opening day card led to him being named the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for December 21st – December 27th. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.
Stevens’ first win came from a picture perfect ride aboard Om in the Grade 2 Mathis Brothers Mile. Stevens stalked the pace set by Acceptance, gained the lead at the top of the stretch and held on to win by 1 ¾ lengths.
Two races later he found himself back in the winners circle for the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes. Stevens piloted the pacesetting Runhappy to a 3 ½ length victory in front of a huge crowd at Santa Anita Park.
For the week Stevens won two races from his six starts. He led all North American riders in earnings with $301,000 in purses won for the week.
JockeyTalk360.com spotlights the riders across North America and around the world who may be the bravest, toughest and most accomplished of all athletes. The Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of America’s Best Racing, the Daily Racing Form, Equibase, the Jockeys’ Guild, the Paulick Report, the Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and Turf Publicists of America.