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Veteran Stevens Enjoying The Twilight

Friday, 2nd May 2014

US trainer John Sadler was sceptical about Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens' return to competitive riding in January, 2013, after seven years in retirement and a second career as a racing analyst, reports usatoday.com. "Unbelievable," said the trainer of Kentucky Derby contender Candy Boy (Candy Ride), whom the 51YO Stevens will ride on Saturday. "I was shocked. And I wasn't an early believer. I said, 'Well, I'll watch a few and see how he looks.' He forced me to be a believer." Stevens says he is enjoying the twilight of his career. "It's great," Stevens, now a grandfather, said of once again having a Derby mount 26 years after winning his first of three Kentucky Derbies on the filly Winning Colors. "The Derby is America's race, and definitely my favourite race in the world…I'm expecting to finish first. That's what I'm here for." Stevens is coming off a highly successful 2013 that saw him win the Preakness on Oxbow, Breeders' Cup Distaff on Beholder and the Breeders' Cup Classic on Mucho Macho Man. "I wish I had the body I had when I was 26 and the experience I have now going together," he said. "I'd truly love that. Let's just say I'm having a good time." Candy Boy is rated a 20-1 chance in Saturday's US$2 million Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

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