Broken Ankle in Gate Accident Puts Stevens Out of Breeders' Cup

Times Staff Writer

Gary Stevens, who was expecting to ride in all seven races of the $10-million Breeders' Cup next Saturday at Hollywood Park, suffered a broken ankle in a gate accident Saturday at Santa Anita and could be sidelined for as long as two months.

Stevens, who ranks sixth in the country with a purse total of almost $8 million, was injured just before the start of the fourth race when his mount, Man's Intent, broke through the gate.

Stevens was taken to a nearby hospital, where a cast was put on his right ankle. He returned to Santa Anita on crutches and watched on television in the jockeys' room as Purdue King, his scheduled mount in the $100,000 B.J. Ridder Stakes for 2-year-olds, won by 3 1/2 lengths under substitute jockey Chris McCarron.

Three other horses that Stevens was scheduled to ride Saturday also won.

Stevens, 24, had these mounts in the Breeders' Cup: Candi's Gold in the Classic, Village Star II in the Turf, Family Style in the Distaff, Noble Minstrel in the Mile, Tsarbaby in the Juvenile, Blue Jean Baby in the Juvenile Fillies and On the Line in the Sprint.

Stevens is the leading jockey in the Oak Tree standings at Santa Anita with 32 wins, but Eddie Delahoussaye narrowed the gap to two with a pair of wins Saturday. The season ends Monday.

Purdue King, running a mile in 1:38 2/5, paid $3.40 as the favorite in the Ridder. Mr. Game Player, ridden by Bill Shoemaker, finished second, 2 lengths ahead of Winnerwald.

After a pre-sale announcement by the Fasig-Tipton Co. that it was guaranteeing owner Gene Klein $5.7 million for Lady's Secret, the live bidding stopped at $5.3 million, and the 1986 Horse of the Year was bought for $5.4 million by the sales company at an auction Saturday night in Lexington, Ky.

The sales company said it would attempt to resell the retired 5-year-old mare. Presumably, Fasig-Tipton will also have to pay Klein $300,000 to make up the difference with the guarantee.

There apparently were only two bidders--Frank D. King of Oklahoma and Bob Levy representing Fasig-Tipton--for Lady's Secret. King made the bid of $5.3 million and then dropped out when Levy countered with $5.4 million.

Three horses eligible for next Saturday's Breeders' Cup were also sold. Family Style went for $1.55 million to the Brushwood Stable; Pine Tree Lane was sold to John B. Prather for $1.25 million, and William O. Reed, a prominent veterinarian who doesn't race horses, signed for a $1.225-million ticket that gave him North Sider.

It was not immediately determined whether any of the new owners would run the horses in the Breeders' Cup. Before Family Style was offered, it was announced that she had raced for the last year with a bone chip in her knee.

Coup de Fusil, another Breeders' Cup eligible, is scheduled to be auctioned today in Lexington.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World