Stevens outpolled fellow riders Joe Bravo, Kerwin Clark, John Davila, Jr. and Julien Leparoux for the honor.
Stevens considers the award a highpoint of a career that began in 1976, “There’s so many deserving riders and I probably came from one of the smallest circuits that’s ever won it so you’re not as famous as some of the riders riding at the big tracks.”
Stevens spends much of the year at Turf Paradise and lives in Phoenix. At Turf he is a fan favorite, with a record that includes nine times as the top jockey of the meet. He is also a good will ambassador of horseracing. “I have always tried to conduct myself in a good manner. Horseracing has been my life and I have tried to present myself and the sport the best I can. I guess it finally paid off,” said Stevens.
At 58 he stays in shape and has no plans to retire, “I’m still having fun. This is what I do.”
Stevens has countless stakes wins at Turf Paradise under his belt including the Phoenix Gold Cup on Rotsaluck in 1997 and the first Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile in 2005 on a horse named Grimm.
Stevens credits the owners and trainers who have trusted him over the years as well as his agents.
Stevens, who is a grandfather, says some of his grandchildren have recently shown interest in horseracing.