Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens is making an impact at Les Bois Park

Credit: NBC Sports

Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens is making an impact at Les Bois Park

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by Jay Tust

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KTVB.COM

Posted on June 7, 2013 at 11:27 PM

Updated Saturday, Dec 7 at 7:09 PM

BOISE -- Thousands of miles from where he took the horsing world by storm three week ago, Caldwell native Gary Stevens is making an impact in his sport back home.

And he may not even know it.

"It gives us a jump start when he rides,” said Les Bois Park general manager Duayne Didericksen. “When he wins it really helps this intermountain arena.”

In the offices at Les Bois Park, pictures hang in Stevens’ honor, and the programs plastered with an imagine that captured the first win of his unbelievable career.

"His first race was on a thoroughbred horse here called Little Star, and it was in 1979," Didericksen explained. "I knew he'd have a lot of success," he added, "but (he's) as good as it gets."

While Gary has gone national, if you walk out to the stables behind the race track, you will notice a familiar last name. A signs hangs with Ron Stevens’ name on it. It just so happens to be Gary's bother, who owns five race horse along with his parents, that still compete in Boise.

So as Gary stares downs history once again at the Belmont Stakes tomorrow, what better place to witness it than his home track?

With that in mind, it has helped bring another famous horse racing name to Les Bois Park this weekend. Hall of Famer trainer Jack Van Berg.

"For people who don't know him, I guess the best comparison would be John Wayne in stature and magnitude,” said author, Chris Kotulack.

"When he came to town, it was like 'stop the presses, the legend has arrived."

Here to promote his book "Jack, From Grit to Glory," Van Berg’s friendship with Gary started back in the 1980s. And for a guys that knows Gary as well as anyone, he predicts the jockey’s experience could be the difference during the most grueling leg of the Triple Crown.

"I think he's got the horse under him,” Van Berg predicted. “I don't think they'll catch him, to be honest with you. If he can dictate the pace in the race," he continued, "I don't think they'll beat him."
 

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