Stevens Winless on First Day Back
Photo: Associated Press/ Victor R. Caivano
Gary Stevens holds the first-place trophy for the National All-Star Jockey Championship June 27, 1997. Stevens returned to riding Wednesday at Santa Anita.
Riding in his first race since retiring on Dec. 26 of last year, jockey Gary Stevens finished third on Triple Crown Bloodstock's Muy Rapido in the second race at Santa Anita Wednesday. Sent of as the 11-10 favorite, Muy Rapido set the early pace before fading after six furlongs of the 1 1/16-mile claiming race. Muy Rapido was claimed out of the race for $20,000.

Stevens was held winless on the day from four mounts, finishing third in the fourth race, 11th in the fifth, and second in the sixth.

Stevens, who was forced to the sidelines due to arthritis in his right knee, said, "It felt great riding again. My knees definitely feel a lot better than they did last Dec. 26. I'm sure of one thing: I'm going to sleep well tonight."

The 37-year-old jockey will ride Stronach Stables Gem of a Guy in the fourth race at Santa Anita Thursday. (Chart, Equibase)

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