Stevens Returns to Saddle This Weekend

Stevens Returns to Saddle This Weekend
Photo: Mike Corrado
Gary Stevens, after winning the Belmont Stakes.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens plans to ride at Hollywood Park this weekend after recovering from a sprained knee.

Stevens, rode Point Given to victory in last Saturday's Belmont Stakes, injured his right knee when he was unseated by his mount, Pride of Cats, prior to Sunday's eighth race at Hollywood Park.

"There was no soft tissue damage," Stevens said. "I woke up the day after it happened feeling much better. I went and got an MRI scan. Everything was good. They just told me to ice it and I'll be back this weekend."

While the injury was not serious, it did cause Stevens to pass on plans to ride in Britain during the Royal Ascot meet. "I don't want to take any chances riding horses I don't know," Stevens said of the decision not to travel to Europe. "It might have been too risky. Besides, there are a lot of big races here and I don't want to miss out on any of them."

The rider has made a triumphant return to competition after missing 10 months due to an arthritic condition in both knees.

On Saturday, Stevens is scheduled to ride Love At Noon in the grade II Princess for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles. Trained by Bob Baffert, as is Point Given, who saddled Point Given in Saturday's Belmont. Stevens rode Love at Noon to a then-track record 1:14 1/5 for 6 1/2 furlongs in an allowance race at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. (The record was eclipsed later the same day).

"After she broke that track record at Churchill, she came back and just missed in a stakes race," Stevens said of Love At Noon. "She is a very nice filly. I think she'll be tough out here."

In the grade III Affirmed Stakes this weekend, Stevens is booked to ride Until Sundown.

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