07/22/2016 1:50PM

Jockey Steiner retires at 51


Jockey Joe Steiner announced his retirement from riding on Thursday. Steiner was named on five horses at Emerald Downs this weekend, including Say It Slow in the $75,000 Washington Oaks, but he told his agent, Vito Lucarelli, that he won’t be riding.

Despite missing almost seven years of riding between 2004 and 2011 with a neck injury, Steiner won 1,061 races in a career that began in Southern California in 1981. He apprenticed under Hall of Fame jockey and trainer John Longden. His first win came aboard Hillside Ruler at the 1981 Del Mar Fair. His mounts earned a total of $17,288,500. Steiner won seven graded stakes, including the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes with Saratoga Passage in 1987.

Steiner, 51, was born in Renton, Wash. After being based in California for most of his career, he moved back to Washington in 2015 to be near his family. His parents, Joe and Sally Steiner, have run the Quarter Chute Café since the track opened in 1996.

He won his 1,000th race aboard Gold Bloom at last year’s meet on April 19.

In a press release issued by Emerald, Steiner said he “would like to be some kind of sports psychologist.” Citing his 35 years of experience dealing with the mental and physical sides of riding, Steiner said, “I want to help others. I know I can help jockeys.”

Steiner was riding the heavily favored The Chilli Man when the horse broke down in the Emerald Express last Sunday and had to be euthanized. He said the incident wasn’t the reason for his retirement, “but it may have hastened it.”

Steiner will be relocating in Southern California next month with his 1-year-old son, Jonah, and wife, Dagmar, a renowned equine artist. In 2014, she was commissioned by Del Mar to do a painting of Pacific Classic winner Shared Belief. The Steiner family will be on hand when Dagmar’s painting of last year’s winner, Beholder, is featured on Pacific Classic Day, Aug. 20.

Steiner was the double for Gary Stevens in the movie “Seabiscuit,”and his grandfather was the stunt rider in the 1949 movie “The Story of Seabiscuit.”