Ace American jockey Gary Stevens will finally retire from the saddle tomorrow night.
The 42-year-old, who recently chalked up 5000 winners, announced at a press conference at Churchill Downs he is to join Television Games Network (TVG) as a racing analyst.
Stevens, who briefly left the sport six years ago due to knee problems, said: “Over the years it’s been a wonderful career, but it’s time to hang it up.
“I’ve thought about it at great length. I’m happy I can walk away in one piece.
“There are several reasons to do this now. Certainly the opportunities to work in television; making weight has been hard for the past four or five years; and my knees, although not the main issue, are a factor,” he said on www.bloodhorse.com.
Stevens has suffered from chronic knee problems which caused him to announce his retirement in 1999.
After brief stints as an assistant trainer and jockeys agent, Stevens felt his knees had heeled sufficiently to begin riding again.
He also enjoyed his role as an actor when portraying jockey George Woolf in the popular 2003 film “Seabiscuit“.
Stevens’ wins in 26-years riding amassed more than 221 million in prize money and his major victories include three Kentucky Derbies, the Preakness Stakes twice, three Belmont Stakes, eight Breeders’ Cup wins, and a record nine runnings of the Santa Anita Derby.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.
He rode in England forMichael Stoute in 1999 and had a spell in France with Andre Fabre last year.
Stevens starts his new career at TVG in January.