The Stevens family has made a habit of breaking records in the sport of horse racing.
The Stevens brothers — Gary and Scott — from the Treasure Valley have been in racing for more years than many can count and it all started with the patriarch of the family, Ron Stevens.
Ron is one of the best trainers to ever work with and saddle a horse for the races at the ill-fated track in Boise, Les Bois Park. That is where two of his sons got their start in horse racing, as jockeys.
Scott was the first to get started and all he has ever done is collect 4,890 wins over his career. He is the all-time leader in wins at Les Bois Park, but his success has reached much farther than that pretty little track that sits along the Boise River on the Western Idaho State Fairgrounds.
Scott is also the all-time leader in wins at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Ariz., and at Canterbury Downs in Minnesota. He has ridden winners at some of the toughest places to win and continues to ride at a high level.
Gary, on the other hand, has been the one who has achieved heights that many only dream of. He is a member of the Horse Racing Hall of Fame and has been likened to one of the greatest jockeys in the world, especially when it comes to a rider who is known as a “gun for hire.” He has been willing to ride any horse anywhere in the world and has accepted mounts that seemingly had little chance and then produced the big upset and win. He was definitely a “money rider” and his horses have bankrolled an incredible $258,217,768 during his career.
One of the most prestigious honors that can be awarded to a jockey is the annual George Woolf award that goes to a jockey that has not only been a top rider, winning a high number of races, but also meets all of the criteria that people like to see in their immortal jockeys.
George Woolf was so well-known as a money rider that he was once brought in to ride the great Seabiscuit when that horse’s regular rider had suffered an injury. It is ironic that in the movie version of the book “Seabiscuit” that Gary Stevens was hired to portray George Woolf in that movie.
Coincidentally, Gary Stevens was awarded the George Woolf award back in 1996. The following year, 1997, Stevens was elected to the Hall of Fame, and in 1998 was the winner of the Eclipse Award as the nation’s top jockey.
This year, brother Scott has been named as the winner of the prestigious award, making the Stevens brothers the only brother combination to win the Woolf Award.