Jockey Scott Stevens earned Thoroughbred win number 4,000 March 18 when he guided favored Summer Nights to a seven-length victory at Turf Paradise.
Stevens, 50, the older brother of Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens, has 4,157 wins in his career for all breeds. He reached that 4,000-win mark Aug. 9, 2009.
The latest milestone was accomplished in the fourth race at Turf Paradise, a $16,000 claiming event for fillies and mares at five furlongs on turf.
Summer Nights, a 5-year-old daughter of Siberian Summer trained and owned by Miguel Silva, led from the start as the 13-10 choice in a field of eight. She won ridden out by Stevens after extending her lead on the turn for home and drawing away in the stretch. The final time, :56.02, was slightly off the course mark of :55.87 set in 2009.
Stevens is riding again after sustaining serious injuries in a fall at Canterbury Park last July that left him hospitalized in critical condition. He punctured both lungs in the spill and sustained multiple fractures to his ribs, vertebrae and collarbone.
He began his career in 1976 in Idaho and has been a regular at Canterbury, Assiniboia Downs and Emerald Downs, in addition to Turf Paradise, during a 35-year career. He won three riding titles in a row art Canterbury in the early 1990s. His best year, in terms of wins, was 1995, when he won 274 races from 1,532 mounts and earned a career-best $1,893,434 in total purses.
Stevens continues to gain on his 48-year-old brother, who recorded 4,888 Thoroughbred victories. Gary Stevens last rode in 2008.
So far in 2011, Stevens has won 38 races from 159 mounts. During his Thoroughbred career, he has ridden 28,198 races through March 18, earning purses totaling $31,280,624. Besides 4,000 wins, he has 3,896 seconds and 3,854 thirds.