LOS ANGELES (AP) Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens will undergo hip replacement surgery before Christmas, which could put a premature end to his career. The 53-year-old says he doesn’t yet know whether he can return to riding next year.
Stevens announced the surgery in a statement released this week by his wife Angie. He says he’s been having problems with his hip in recent months and underwent tests on Monday that indicated surgery should be done soon.
Stevens is coming off a successful year in which he won 40 races from 316 mounts and had earnings of $5.9 million. He rode Beholder to a nose victory in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita last month.
“I wasn’t ready to hang it up and I still don’t know if I’m ready,” he said in the statement. “All I can do is have it done and hope for the best. I hope I’m in a position in a few months where I can make the choice if I want to go back to riding or not.”
Stevens has battled knee problems in recent years that led to temporary retirements. He made a comeback in January 2013 after being away for seven years and won the Preakness and Breeders’ Cup Classic that year.
In 2014, he underwent knee replacement surgery that resulted in a four-month break.
Stevens has won 5,083 races in his career that began in 1979. He won the Kentucky Derby in 1988, 1995 and 1997.
OCEANPORT, N.J. — Funtastic led all the way in a 23-1 upset Saturday in the $300,000 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Chad Brown, the Eclipse Award winner the last two years as the nation’s leading trainer, got his third victory in the New Jersey’s biggest turf race. He won with Big Blue Kitten in 2013 and 2015.
The U.N. and the $1 million Haskell on July 29 are the two Grade 1 stakes at Monmouth.
Brown saddled four of the nine runners in the U.N. and ran 1-2 as Money Multiplier rallied to finish a half length behind Funtastic and jockey Antonio Gallardo.
The other two Brown horses were Silverwave (fifth) and Kurilov (eighth).
The time was 2:12.36 for 1 3/8 miles over the firm course.
Funtastic paid $48, $15.80 and $8.60. Money Multiplier, the 2-1 favorite, returned $4 and $2.80.
Bigger Picture, last year’s U.N. winner, was third, paying $5.80 to show.
TORONTO (AP) Wonder Gadot won the 159th running of the $1 million Queen’s Plate on Saturday at hot and muggy Woodbine Racetrack.
The 3-year-old filly beat Aheadbyacentury by five lengths, running 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.26 in the first jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown.
John Velazquez rode the winner for owner Gary Barner and trainer Mark Casse.
Wonder Gadot is the second straight filly to win the event, following Holy Helena, and the fourth in eight years.
Cooler Mike was third in the 16-horse field.
The other Triple Crown races are the $400,000 Prince of Wales Stakes on July 24 on Fort Erie Racetrack’s dirt course and the $400,000 Breeder’s Stakes turf race at Woodbine on Aug. 18.