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Gary Stevens returning to the saddle

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Arcadia, CA (Sportsbooks) - Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens has announced his return to riding in thoroughbred races. Stevens made the announcement Thursday morning at Santa Anita Park.

"I didn't want to make an announcement until I knew I was going to ride on a particular day, and the races were drawn about an hour ago," Stevens said during a conference call. "We didn't want the overnights to come out or the Racing Form and see Gary Stevens named on a horse, we figured it would be better to do it like this ... there's been a lot of speculation and until I actually knew what I was going to be dealing with over the next couple of months. And I didn't really want to come out and make some sort of announcement till I was 100 percent sure this is what I wanted to do."

Inducted into Racing's Hall of Fame in 1997, Stevens will return to the saddle at Santa Anita with a mount in Sunday's sixth race. He will be aboard Jebrica, who is trained by Jim Penney.

Stevens has been away from race riding for seven years, but had one mount in 2008.

The 1998 champion jockey, Stevens has won 4,888 races from 27,595 mounts for more than $221 million. He is a three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, along with a pair of Preakness victories.

January 3, 2013, at 03:13 PM ET
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