Gary Stevens has won the Santa Anita Derby a record nine times, more than any rider in history.
At the moment, the 54-year-old Hall of Fame jockey is on the outside looking in for this year's edition, to be run for the 80th time next Saturday.
But that could all change tomorrow.
Stevens is scheduled to work Robert B. Lewis Stakes winner Royal Mo for John Shirriffs Monday, and if the son of Uncle Mo fares well, Stevens would ride the bay colt in the Santa Anita Derby.
“Royal Mo is going to work Monday, and a decision will be made after that, but if he's OK, we're considering the Santa Anita Derby,” trainer John Shirreffs said Sunday morning before Sham Stakes winner Gormley worked for the Santa Anita Derby.
“Stevens will work Royal Mo and we'll go from there.”
Gormley finished a disappointing fourth behind the ill-fated Mastery in the San Felipe Stakes on March 11, but has been training lights out since. He worked six furlongs in company Sunday morning in 1:14. Stablemate Cool Samurai was clocked in 1:16.
“He's been training super since the San Felipe,” Sherriffs said of Gormley, like Royal Mo, owned by Jerry and Ann Moss.
Stevens, fully recovered from surgery that replaced his right hip last Dec. 21, has been back riding full time since March 9.
His nine Santa Anita Anita Derby victories have come on Winning Colors (1988), Mister Frisky (1990). Personal Hope (1993), Brocco (1994), Larry The Legend (1995), Indian Charlie (1998), General Challenge (1999), Point Given (2001) and Buddy Gil (2003).
Trailing Stevens in Santa Anita Derby triumphs are a Who's Who of reinsmen: Bill Shoemaker (8), Laffit Pincay Jr. (7), John Longden (5), Chris McCarron (4), and Eddie Arcaro, Eddie Delahoussaye, Victor Espinoza, Don Pierce, Patrick Valenzuela, Ray York, Alex Solis and Kent Desormeaux (two each).
Probable for the 80th edition of the Santa Anita Derby: American Anthem, Rafael Bejarano; Battle of Midway, Corey Nakatani; Gormley, Victor Espinoza; Iliad, Flavien Prat; Kimbear, Joe Talamo; Midnight Pleasure, Jamie Theriot; Milton Freewater, Tiago Pereira; Reach the World, Mike Smith; So Conflated, Mario Gutierrez; Term of Art, Tyler Baze; and West Coast, Martin Garcia.
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