STEVENS WATCHES FROM THE SIDELINE

Scott Stevens and Badge of Glory

Scott Stevens and Badge of Glory

Horse racing is full of ups and downs, highs and lows and truly can be the bi-polar addition to mankind’s pantheon of sporting activities.

No one understands that any better than Canterbury Park Hall of Fame rider Scott Stevens, who has experienced
the sport’s polar opposites at various times throughout his distinguished career, and has undergone one of its roller coaster rides against this summer.

You might recall that earlier this meet Stevens took a weekend off from racing in Shakopee to try his luck on one of the big stages of horse racing, Belmont Park in New York aboard the Roberto Diodoro-trained Broadway Empire in the $1.25 million dollar Metropolitan Mile. That decision was irrefutably understandable and defendable beyond question, yet it also came at a price. Stevens gave up six winning mounts that weekend, victories that would have lifted him into third place in the rider standings.

“That hurt us, no doubt,” said his agent, Chad Anderson.

Anderson, a former rider himself, was not questioning Stevens’ decision, simply making an observation of fact, that a price is paid for all of our choices.

On August 9, Stevens suffered one of the setbacks the sport often inflicts on its participants. Galloping back after completing the Minnesota Derby, his horse stumbled, dumping him onto the track. Stevens’ right wrist was broken, ending his season in Shakopee, where he has incurred most of the serious injuries during his long career, a place where he seems jinxed in that regard.

Thursday night, the day after surgery to repair the injury, Stevens was at Canterbury nonetheless, experiencing bouts of pain from time to time. “It hurts like a real sucker,” he said. “I haven’t been able to sleep, so I came out to the races hoping that would help me forget the pain for awhile.

The pain will not disappear entirely even when the wrist heals. There is still the mental anguish of a season ending all too soon, at a place where it has happened all too often, and the two to three months of recuperation that might keep him on the sidelines for the opening of Turf Paradise in Phoenix, his home and home base, in mid October.

A plate and screws were inserted into Stevens’ wrist and the incision then closed. “They are going to take out the stitches next Friday,” said Stevens.

The following day, he and Pam, his significant other, will make the return trip to Phoenix. Originally, he hoped to pick her up at the airport on Wednesday, but that plan was changed and colleague Lori Keith had to play taxi driver instead when the surgery was rescheduled earlier than originally planned. Pam arrived in time for the surgery nonetheless.

“Now there’s two to three months of no riding,” Stevens added.

The surgery was among the least spectacular of his career but one of the most painful nonetheless. “He was given a drug that sickened him the night of the accident and spent the entire night dealing with that issue in addition to the injury.

The injury left Anderson without one of his two riders but he filled that spot this week by picking up Geovanni Franco who arrived late in the meet and was working as his own agent.

In the meantime, Stevens’ medications have been adjusted to help him deal with the pain, but he will apply his own remedy nevertheless in the next few days.

You are almost certain to spot him at Canterbury. He is unable to ride, but he will be watching.

by JIM WELLS

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Comments

  1. Love you Scott. Sorry about the wrist. Hope it heals soon!!!

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