Friday, May 2, 2003

Hollywood life suits Stevens

Jockey enjoyed Seabiscuit role

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LOUISVILLE - Gary Stevens is trying to ride Buddy Gil, a horse that learned to race on a farm in Idaho and was a late nominee to the Triple Crown series, to a Kentucky Derby triumph.

Stevens knows a thing or two about storybook endings.

Besides having three Derby victories to his credit, the Hall of Famer played the role of jockey George Woolf in the upcoming movie Seabiscuit.

He's raving about the experience. Even though arthritic knees that once knocked him into retirement couldn't keep him from coming back, Stevens said he might quit riding to become an actor.

"I'm just following the lead of Gary Ross, the director, and Kathy Kennedy, the producer," he said. "They'd like to see me stay involved.

"It's a heck of a lot easier on my body than riding horses. And at 40 years old, to get the opportunity at a new career, I'll stick with it a little while."


Derby briefing book: Who's setting the pace & who's falling back

Media Poll: The C-J's panel of experts weigh in on their favorites

Latest news: Reports from morning workouts and analysis of the race

Magazine: Tips for stylish hats, cocktails, party planning and more...

Stevens, who returned to riding in the fall of 2000 after a year working as an assistant trainer, took five months off to film the movie. He returned in February and has been 3-for-3 aboard Buddy Gil.

Meanwhile, Ross and Kennedy set up a management team for Stevens, and he said he is reading a couple of scripts for non-racing pictures. Stevens said he wouldn't commit to his next role until after the Seabiscuit premiere July 25.

"I didn't know what to expect," Stevens said of his Seabiscuit role. "I'm no film critic or acting critic, but obviously they're very happy with the way things went."

Woolf took over the Seabiscuit mount from Red Pollard, who'll be played in the film by Tobey Maguire, and rode him to his famous match-race victory over War Admiral. The George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, for contributions to the sport, is awarded annually; Stevens won it in 1996.

Saturday, Stevens will be racing against Ross and Kennedy. They are part of a group of Hollywood big wigs that bought 10 percent of Atswhatimtalknbout.

That group got involved because of the enthusiasm for the horse of retired jockey Chris McCarron, who worked as a consultant on Seabiscuit.


Tagliabue celebrates new Bengals era
DAUGHERTY: Brown has set Bengals free

Steelers downplay Polamalu's concussion history
Bills betting on McGahee

Reds 7, Rockies 2
Photos gallery
Reds-Giants Preview
Reds Box, Runs
Austin keeps ball in the park
Reds Notebook: Sullivan gets win over Riedling
Buffalo 6, Louisville 5

NL: Phils' Duckworth overpowers Dodgers
AL: Koch miffed after getting hook
Baseball Notebook: Players OK All-Star plan

Hurdles sidetrack women in horse racing
INFOGRAPHIC: Women in horse racing
For Dollases, horses a family affair
Hollywood life suits Stevens
Derby Notebook: Favorite's foot healed
Kentucky Derby odds

Witt ignores pain, focuses on gain
Flying Pig Schedule
Flying Pig page at

Lakers dismiss T-Wolves
Spurs, Nets, Celtics also advance
Ford, Wade enter NBA draft

Iowa St. coach will fight for job
Iowa St. assistant suspended
Alabama may fire coach before first game

NHL: Ducks try to eliminate Stars

Obituary: George Spencer was basketball pioneer
Riverhawks play home opener
Sports on TV-Radio

'Next LeBron' makes local debut tonight
Thursday's High School Results
Today's High School Schedule
Spring Sports Notebook
Ky. Spring Sports Notebook
Girls Track Poll & Honor Roll
Ohio State Baseball Poll