A day after taking his first stakes since his comeback attempt began last month, Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens won another at Santa Anita on Sunday, guiding Purim’s Dancer to a breakaway win in the $75,000 Wishing Well stakes.
Stevens and Purim’s Dancer, a 4-year-old filly from the barn of Thomas Proctor, were fourth in the early going of the stakes on the special downhill course, but had a two-length lead by the time they reached the main turf track and pulled away to beat long shot Dancingtothestars by 3 1/4 lengths, covering about 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:12.25.
”It feels tremendous,” said Stevens from the winner’s circle. ”Because of guys like these, Tom Proctor here to my right and all the great supporters of Gary Stevens through the years and giving me a shot once again. It’s time to capitalize and we are, but it’s good horses that put you in the winner’s circle.”
When the weekend began, the 49-year-old Stevens had won just two races of any kind since his comeback began Jan. 6
The winner paid $8.80, $5.40 and $4.20. Dancingtothestars paid $14 and $7.60. The favorite, Byrama, had to rally from the back of the field for third. She paid $3.40 to show.
Purim’s Dancer earned $48,300 for her sixth career win, increasing her lifetime earnings to $117,960.