Stevens Hires New Agent; Beach Also Handles Mike Smith

Jockey Gary Stevens on Tuesday hired agent Brian Beach to handle his book effective opening day of the Santa Anita Park meeting Dec. 26. Beach also books mounts for Mike Smith.

Stevens had previously been with Tony Matos, who picked up Stevens as a client when Kent Desormeaux left California to ride in Japan earlier in the year. Matos also serves as agent for Victor Espinoza.

"There is no physical problem with Gary as far as riding numbers of horses," Beach said. "He wants to ride as many live horses as I can get him on. Obviously everyone wants to ride the better stock, but he's always ridden horses at all levels. We're going to sit down later today and go over the horses he has."

Stevens has been pacing himself during the current Hollywood Park meeting. He has traveled to Japan and New York recently to ride, and has shut down a little during Hollywood's fall gathering. Stevens said last week that he is feeling fine physically, and that his knee continues to hold up well since it caused him to retire two years ago. He subsequently returned seven months later.

As for Smith, Beach noted that the former East Coast rider and dual Eclipse Award winner had solid meetings at Del Mar and Oak Tree, and "We are trying to keep building. Mike has had furniture shipped from New York and Florida out here, and he has pulled up all stakes back East. He loves it out here."

Beach previously booked mounts for Desormeaux, Emile Ransammy, and Jose Valdivia Jr. in Southern California, and for 'Cowboy' Jack Kaenel, Marco Castaneda, and Vann Belvoir in San Francisco.