07/26/2013 3:38PM

Del Mar: Stevens enjoying strong meet

Shigeki Kikkawa
Gary Stevens has had three two-win days in the last week.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – With three two-win days in the last week, Gary Stevens is leaving Southern California this weekend for a trip to New Jersey in his best form of the year.

“I don’t want to wear out my welcome,” Stevens joked on Friday morning.

Stevens, 50, came out of retirement in January and has ridden steadily in Southern California for most of this year.

Sunday, he will be at Monmouth Park, where he has the mount on Oxbow in the $1 million Haskell Invitational Stakes. Stevens rode Oxbow to a win in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 18 and a second-place finish in the Belmont Stakes on June 8.

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Stevens will return to Del Mar for Wednesday’s races and will ride here through Aug. 4, before spending Aug. 7-11 in England, where he will ride the Shergar Cup program at Ascot on Aug. 10. He may be gone again on Aug. 17 to ride Indy Point in the Arlington Million Stakes at Arlington Park.

[DEL MAR 2013: Complete meet coverage, schedule, race replays]

When he returns to Del Mar for the remainder of the meeting, which runs through Sept. 4, Stevens figures to be in demand. He had two-win days last Sunday and on Wednesday and Thursday. Through Thursday, Stevens had eight wins at the meeting, leaving him six behind leader Rafael Bejarano.

Two of Stevens’s wins have come in stakes. Wishing Gate won the Grade 2 San Clemente Stakes on July 21 and Indy Point won the Wickerr Stakes last Wednesday.

“People came in here prepared,” Stevens said. “My hat’s off to the trainers.”