03/12/2013 3:08PM

Santa Anita: Gary Stevens seeks Saturday stakes sweep

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Gary Stevens rode Great Hot to a win in the Santa Maria Stakes on Feb. 16 and will pilot her again in the Santa Margarita Stakes.

Gary Stevens has picked up right where he left off – seven years ago. The Hall of Fame jockey, who turned 50 last week, guided Great Hot to her victory in the Santa Maria Stakes on Feb. 16 and will be back aboard Saturday in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita. Similarly, he scored a gate-to-wire win with Slim Shadey in the San Marcos on Feb. 9, and they will reunite Saturday in the Grade 2, $150,000 San Luis Rey Stakes, giving Stevens a chance to sweep the day’s stakes.

The San Marcos marked the second straight time Slim Shadey led from start to finish in a 1 1/4-mile grass race at Santa Anita. In the San Luis Rey, he will attempt to stretch out to 1 1/2 miles, a distance he has yet to master in three tries, though he narrowly missed in this race last year to Bourbon Bay.

In two 1 1/2-mile attempts since then, Slim Shadey was eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf and fourth in the Hollywood Turf Cup. That was all in the pre-Stevens era.

In addition to Slim Shadey, the San Luis Rey field was expected to include All Squared Away, Bright Thought, Fire With Fire, Huntsville, Interaction, and John Scott.