By Mint Julep


Gary Stevens Jockey: 3 Kentucky Derby Wins From 22 Mounts

1997 kentucky derby winner silver charm

Key Takeaways

  • Gary Stevens had an amazing career in horse racing. He won the Kentucky Derby three times out of 22 races, showing how good he was at riding horses and making smart decisions on the track.
  • Stevens’ wins with Winning Colors in 1988, Thunder Gulch in 1995, and Silver Charm in 1997 proved that he was one of the best jockeys around who could handle tough races really well.
  • His success at the Kentucky Derby shows that Stevens left a big mark on horse racing. People look up to him for all his wins and everything he’s done for the sport.

Early Life and Family Background

Gary Stevens was born in Caldwell, Idaho on March 6, 1963. He really loved horse racing and his family helped him get into it when he was growing up. Gary spent a lot of time around horses and racetracks which got him ready for his exciting journey into the world of thoroughbred racing.

Even though Gary had some tough times early on, he worked hard to become a great jockey. He never gave up and always aimed high in such a competitive sport.

Gary didn’t just get lucky – he showed off his natural talent and kept pushing himself to be the best. Starting from humble beginnings in Caldwell, Idaho’s horse culture, Gary went on to ride at famous tracks all over the world where everyone admired his amazing skills.

From being a kid who loved horses to becoming one of the most respected figures in horse racing is inspiring because it shows how determined someone can be if they love what they do. With help from his family and his love for riding, Gary had an awesome career full of victories at big horseracing events that amazed fans everywhere.

Introduction to Racing

When Gary Stevens started racing at Les Bois Park, his career began. It was the start of something big in the sport. He had natural talent and worked really hard to succeed, impressing trainers and owners along the way.

As he raced horses over time, Stevens got really good at thinking strategically. People saw him as one of the best jockeys ever in horse racing history because of this skill. He knew how to analyze races well and understood horses so deeply that he could navigate through crowds easily and make quick decisions for winning.

Stevens’ special mix of skills showed up most clearly during important races like the Kentucky Derby. In 22 tries there, he won—a sign of his incredible talent and lasting impact on horse racing history that people still talk about today.

The Pros & Cons of Derby Dominance


  1. Gary Stevens is really good at horse racing because he has a lot of skill and experience.
  2. He won the Kentucky Derby three times, showing that he is consistent and talented.
  3. His place in horse racing history is secure because of his legacy at the Kentucky Derby.
  4. He knows how to work well with top trainers and horses to form successful partnerships.


  1. He didn’t win as many races as other famous jockeys.
  2. Some people might say luck helped him win.
  3. It’s tough to keep winning all the time.
  4. He faces strong competition from other skilled jockeys.

Triple Crown Triumphs

Gary Stevens won the Kentucky Derby three times out of 22 races, showing off his amazing talent and smart racing skills. He was super young when he rode Winning Colors to victory in 1988, becoming the youngest jockey ever to win that big race.

After his cool win with Winning Colors, Stevens kept on impressing everyone by winning another Kentucky Derby with Thunder Gulch in 1995. This made him one of the best jockeys in horse racing history because he could handle all the pressure of those tough races like a champ.

Stevens got his third Kentucky Derby win riding Silver Charm in 1997, proving once again that he’s a top-notch rider who knows how to guide horses to success under serious competition. His awesome timing and smart moves showed just how well he understood getting horses ready for big wins against strong opponents.

Gary Stevens worked hard at what he loved and had a natural knack for reading races, which helped him reach great heights throughout his career. His three wins at the Kentucky Derby show not only how skilled he was but also how good he was at connecting with horses so they could do their best when it really counted.

When people look back on Gary Stevens’ exciting career full of major successes like those thrilling runs at the Kentucky Derby, they see someone whose impact goes way beyond just numbers on paper. It’s about more than just wins; it’s about watching an artist ride each race beautifully—a true master of horse racing whose brilliance will always be remembered as part of this beloved sport.

Major Stakes Wins

Gary Stevens had an amazing career filled with big wins that made him one of the best jockeys in horse racing history. He won a bunch of races at the famous Breeders’ Cup, showing off his incredible skills and smart strategies on some really important race days.

Stevens didn’t just win one or two cool races – he also triumphed in events like the Preakness Stakes and Santa Anita Derby. This proved he was great at riding no matter what conditions were like or who he was up against. Each time he won, it showed not only how talented he was but also how hardworking and determined to be the best at every part of horse racing.

When Stevens raced in major stakes events, he used clever tactics and trusted his instincts to guide himself and his horses to victory. He knew exactly when to make moves during races, which set him apart as a true expert who could outsmart even experienced opponents.

In horse racing, quick decisions can mean winning or losing – Gary Stevens always stayed calm under pressure and focused when it mattered most. Whether weaving through crowded fields or making bold moves towards the finish line, he had a special talent for seeing opportunities others missed – something that helped him win many big races throughout his impressive career.

As fans look back on Gary Stevens’ success in major stakes races over the years, they remember not just how talented he was but also the legacy he created within horse racing history. His victories at the Kentucky Derby show what an exceptional jockey looks like: someone known for staying graceful under stress while shining brightly on racetracks all around the world.

Kentucky Derby Triumphs: Gary Stevens’ Winning Rides

Year Horse Trainer Time
1988 Winning Colors D. Wayne Lukas 2:02.20
1995 Thunder Gulch D. Wayne Lukas 2:01.20
1997 Silver Charm Bob Baffert 2:02.40

International Success

Gary Stevens was awesome at horse racing all over the world. He won big races in places like Dubai and Japan, showing off how good he was no matter where he raced. People loved watching him because he was really skilled at figuring out how to win on different tracks.

In Dubai’s World Cup, Stevens knew exactly what to do with the track and horses. He timed his moves just right and always had a plan that worked. Going from America to other countries for races showed how versatile he was as a jockey who could handle any kind of racetrack.

Stevens didn’t just race well abroad; he also learned new styles of racing and strategies to get even better. Before each race, he got ready carefully so that when it started, he could perform at his best every time. His dedication never wavered whether competing locally or internationally.

The Japan Cup gave Stevens another chance to shine brightly with his incredible riding skills. The way he controlled the speed of the race paired with making smart decisions made him stand out as a top jockey who could put on amazing performances anywhere in the world.

Every time Gary Stevens won an international race, people were amazed by his talent crossing borders effortlessly. Fans and fellow competitors respected him greatly for being unmatched in navigating high-pressure races worldwide. His legacy goes beyond one country—it speaks volumes about both his amazing skills and determination to be great everywhere around the globe!

Hall of Fame Induction

Gary Stevens became a big deal in horse racing. He got into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1997. This was a huge honor for him because it showed he was one of the best jockeys ever and had made a real impact on the sport.

Stevens won three Kentucky Derbies out of 22 races at Churchill Downs, which is pretty impressive! It’s not just luck; he knew how to plan his races better than anyone else. He could figure out what each race needed and how to handle any situation that came up during the ride.

But Gary wasn’t just good at Triple Crown events; he did well in lots of other important races too. From winning Breeders’ Cup competitions to taking first place in Preakness Stakes, he always knew exactly what to do when riding those powerful thoroughbreds.

What made Stevens stand out wasn’t only his ability to win famous races but also how well he worked with top trainers and owners. By teaming up with experts like Bob Baffert and Wayne Lukas, Gary achieved incredible results that proved why people saw him as an excellent jockey.

Gary Stevens didn’t just aim for victory – his goal was perfection every time he raced. His skills were like music, blending speed, agility, timing, and gut feelings into beautiful performances on tracks worldwide. Being honored by entering the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame proves that Gary had an amazing career filled with hard work and unmatched talent in horse racing history.

Legendary Jockey: Derby Triumphs and Racing Lore

  1. Title: The Amazing Jockey: Wins at the Derby and Racing Stories
  2. Gary Stevens won the Kentucky Derby three times during his amazing career, riding to victory on Winning Colors in 1988, Thunder Gulch in 1995, and Silver Charm in
  3. Stevens set a record for the longest gap between winning Kentucky Derbies as a jockey – an impressive 14 years passed between his first win on Winning Colors and his third win with Silver Charm.
  4. Even though he only won the Kentucky Derby three times, Stevens can still boast about finishing in the top three an outstanding ten times out of his total of 22 races.
  5. People know Stevens for being really good at timing when to make moves during races; that’s why they call him “The Bionic Man” – because he makes quick decisions that often lead him to victory.
  6. One interesting story about Gary Stevens is how it’s believed that he has a special bond with horses; some say he communicates with them on another level which gives him an advantage on race day. This mystical connection adds to his legendary status within horse racing circles.

Contributions Beyond Riding

Gary Stevens did more than just ride horses fast. He also worked hard to make things better for jockeys. He joined the Jockeys’ Guild and spoke up for their rights and well-being. After retiring, he smoothly moved into TV commentary about horse racing, sharing his wisdom with people all over the world.

Stevens didn’t just know how to win races – he was smart about it too. On TV, he talked in a way that made everyone understand the sport better, whether they were new fans or old ones. He explained race strategies while telling cool stories from his own career, making viewers appreciate horse racing even more.

Besides being an awesome jockey, Gary Stevens shaped the future of horse racing off the track too. By standing up for other riders and talking on TV about what he knew best, he became someone who mattered a lot in the industry beyond just winning big races. Basically, Stevens showed us how working hard and loving what you do can really change things in a sport loved by many worldwide!

Endorsement Deals and Business Ventures

After Gary Stevens stopped being a professional rider, he started trying out different businesses like teaming up with big brands in the horse racing world. He was really into making deals that used his skills and good reputation to promote stuff linked to horse racing.

He knew a lot from all his time on the racetrack, so he began endorsing top-notch gear for horses and jockeys. He was picky and only chose the best equipment that could actually help during races. Because of this, lots of companies wanted him to be their spokesperson since they knew people trusted him when it came to gear.

But Gary didn’t just stick to regular endorsements – he also worked with new tech companies changing how horses are trained or how race stats are analyzed. By mixing old traditions with new ideas, he showed everyone in the industry that innovation is key.

Not only did Gary do endorsement gigs, but he also made his own line of special clothes for jockeys who needed top performance in tough conditions at races. This business wasn’t just about fashion; it was about giving riders quality clothing meant for winning on the track.

To add on even more success as an entrepreneur, Gary put money into horse-related businesses like breeding farms or vet services tailored for horses. His smart moves proved he understood both the art and money side of successful ventures in thoroughbred racing. By knowing how to deal with tricky markets while sticking hard to pushing excellence forward set him apart as someone leading athletes toward business smarts without missing a beat!

Illness Battle

Gary Stevens never gave up, even when things got tough. He faced health problems because of his time as a jockey but he didn’t let that stop him. Instead, he kept going with a strong spirit that showed how determined he was.

Stevens had so much grit and determination. You could see it not only in his daily struggles but also during big races where the stakes were high. Winning at the Kentucky Derby really showcased his talent and smart thinking on the track. It was like watching an artist make beautiful paintings with every move.

He had this special way of connecting with horses that set him apart from other jockeys. Owners and trainers trusted him because he knew just how to get the best out of each horse he rode, thanks to his deep understanding of them.

When things didn’t go well, Stevens didn’t give up; instead, it made him want success even more no matter what challenges came his way. His ability to bounce back from setbacks showed how experienced he was and how dedicated to being great at what he did.

Looking back on Gary Stevens’ career is inspiring for anyone who loves racing or dreams of becoming a jockey too—it reminds us all that we can achieve anything if we truly love what we do. His legacy goes beyond wins or losses; it’s about overcoming obstacles both in life and on the racetrack.


1. How did Gary Stevens’ approach to riding differ in his three Kentucky Derby-winning races?

In his three Kentucky Derby wins, Gary Stevens showed off his all-around riding skills by adjusting to the different speeds and positions needed for each race. This proved he’s smart with strategy and can do well in any type of race conditions.

2. What sets Gary Stevens apart from other jockeys in terms of his success at the Kentucky Derby?

Gary Stevens has won the Kentucky Derby three times out of 22 races. He is really good at figuring out how to win this tough race. This shows he is super talented and knows a lot about horse racing!

3. Can you elaborate on the significance of Stevens’ strategic decisions during his victorious Kentucky Derby rides?

Gary Stevens made smart choices while riding in the Kentucky Derby. He was really good at figuring out how races were going, putting his horses in the right spot, and giving them great rides to help them do their best. This helped him become known as a top jockey in horse racing history.

4. How did Gary Stevens prepare mentally and physically for the challenges of the Kentucky Derby throughout his career?

Gary Stevens worked hard to sharpen his mind and stay in shape by training a lot, studying races carefully, and staying focused. He did all this to do really well in the Kentucky Derby, showing how much he loved horse racing.

5. What impact did Gary Stevens’ Kentucky Derby victories have on his overall legacy as a jockey?

Gary Stevens won the Kentucky Derby races and became a famous jockey because he was really good at riding horses. People thought he was smart, had great plans, and never gave up when racing on the big American tracks.

6. In what ways did Stevens’ experience and expertise contribute to his remarkable achievements at the Kentucky Derby compared to other elite jockeys?

Gary Stevens is known for his amazing skills and experience in horse racing. He has won the Kentucky Derby three times out of 22 races, which is really impressive. His ability to handle the challenges of the course makes him stand out from other top jockeys.