Gary Stevens to be guest speaker at Hall of Fame ceremony

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Legendary jockey Gary Stevens will be the keynote speaker at the National Museum of Racing’s 2010 Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday, August 13. The ceremony will be held at the newly renovated Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion at 10:30 a.m. It is free to the public.

Stevens, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997, will be the fourth Hall of Fame member – following John Nerud in 1994, D. Wayne Lukas in 2004 and Chris McCarron in 2009 – to accept an invitation to speak at the ceremony.

Stevens, 47, won 5,005 races and had purse earnings of $237,644,302 in a career that spanned from 1979 to 2005. He won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes three times each and posted two victories in both the Preakness and Travers. Stevens also won a record nine runnings of the Santa Anita Derby and posted eight wins in Breeders’ Cup races.

One of the most popular athletes in the history of Thoroughbred racing, Stevens has enjoyed tremendous success in many endeavors. In 2003, he received critical acclaim for his role as jockey George Woolf in the Academy Award-nominated film “Seabiscuit.” Stevens has also been a popular racing analyst for NBC Sports and Horse Racing Television (HRTV), and recently signed on for a role in HBO’s upcoming racetrack series “Luck,” which will also star Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. He also has authored a book about his life, The Perfect Ride.

Stevens was born March 6, 1963 in Caldwell, Idaho. He began his riding career at age 16 in his home state at Les Bois Park in Boise. Stevens quickly became a top rider in Washington and then found success in California. In 1993, he became the youngest jockey to surpass $100 million in earnings. In 1996, Stevens won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. He won the Mike Venezia Memorial Award in 1999. Stevens earned the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 1998, the year after his Hall of Fame induction.

Stevens won the Kentucky Derby with Winning Colors (1988), Thunder Gulch (1995) and Silver Charm (1997); the Preakness Stakes with Silver Charm (1997) and Point Given (2001); and the Belmont with Thunder Gulch (1995), Victory Gallop (1998) and Point Given (2001).

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