Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, who rode three Kentucky Derby winners and made nearly 30,000 career starts, is retiring from racing.
Stevens told The Daily Racing Form that his decision had to do with his long-term health — a C4 vertebra is pressing up against his spinal cord.
“There won’t be any comebacks from this one,” the 55-year-old Stevens told the publication. He said he underwent an MRI on Monday and his doctor told him “You’re done.”
“I was getting close anyway,” he said. “Now it will be time to pursue other things, but thank God I’m not in a wheelchair.”
Stevens initially stepped away from horse racing in 2005 because of knee problems before making a comeback in 2013.
He has ridden Winning Colors (1988), Thunder Gulch (1995) and Silver Charm (1997) to victory in the Kentucky Derby and was aboard three Preakness Stakes winners. He also won the Belmont Stakes three times and has 11 Breeders’ Cup victories.