NEWS PREVIEW

Gary Stevens Facing Retirement After Hip Surgery

Champion US jockey Gary Stevens will undergo a hip replacement operation next week that may finally signal the end of the 53-year-old’s riding career.

Stevens is philosophical about his future says he is at peace with the outcome of his surgery.
"It's a new chapter and a new journey and we'll see what it brings," Stevens said. "I'm actually in great spirits."
The Hall of Fame jockey said it will be several months after the surgery before he will if his career is over after a series of comebacks and setbacks to his amazing career.
In 2013 Stevens came out of a seven-year retirement to sweep that year's Breeders' Cup Distaff and Breeders' Cup Classic with Beholder and Mucho Macho Man and in 2014 returned from a successful knee replacement.
Stevens has ridden 5083 winners and has won nine Triple Crown races including three Kentucky Derbys and 11 Breeders' Cup races.
He has the same team of doctors that rebuilt his knee performing his hip replacement.
Their advice is he will be able to ride again in about 12 weeks if he chooses.
"I'm basically doing what I did with my knee. If everything goes well, it's much quicker," Stevens said.
"I'm hopeful that I can return to the saddle but I also understand things.
“If I don't feel like Gary Stevens on a horse, then I'm going to stay off the horses. It's something that will be decided in the weeks after the surgery as it progresses.
“I'm optimistic and I'm in a good place mentally but I want to analyse other options I have at this stage of my life.
"If it ended last weekend at Los Alamitos, I'm satisfied now. I'm at peace, but I've still got that burn."
Stevens had been troubled by his hip injury since July but continued riding with the help of injections.
The initial diagnosis was a torn labrum but after winning a second Breeders' Cup Distaff on Beholder in November x-rays revealed he had been trying to ride on a hip that was now bone on bone.
Stevens had signed on to be first call rider for Ruis Racing before his hip gave out, but will remain with that team as an advisor and assistant as he recovers.

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