Gary Stevens will disband his 14-horse stable in California to concentrate on increased work in television leading up to this year’s Triple Crown, the retired Hall of Fame jockey announced Jan. 16.
Due to the expansion of Churchill Downs’ and NBC Sport’s “Road to the Kentucky Derby Series,” with coverage of six Derby prep races, Stevens said he felt it best to concentrate on his positions as a racing analyst for NBC and HRTV. He will also appear in the new HBO horse racing drama “Luck.”
“I spoke with (NBC Sports executive producer) Sam Flood, and the whole NBC racing team is very excited about the extended coverage,” Stevens said. “This will be great for the sport and great for the fans. Although I have a tremendous passion for the sport and love training, I want to be able to put all of my efforts into my broadcast work, and training while doing so spreads me a little too thin.”
“Gary has been an integral part of our Pursuit of the Crown series,” said Amy Zimmerman, executive producer at HRTV. “His expansion with the NBC role will only add to the information he’s able to impart to our viewers.”
Four of Stevens’ horses left his barn on Jan. 15, and the others will be sent to various trainers in the coming weeks. The last starter from the stable he opened in June of 2009 will be Diamondrella in the Jan. 31 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I).
“I appreciate all the support that my owners have shown me throughout these months, and training is something I definitely won’t rule out in the future,” Stevens said.