Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens has enough career earnings that he probably could have retired a long time ago (well, he did for while), but he's about to receive another major raise.
Stevens rode Mucho Macho Man to a win in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Saturday night, holding off Will Take Charge by a nose in an absolutely thrilling race to take home the majority of the massive $5 million purse.
Here's a look at the complete prize money list following the richest race—the purse for the Breeders' Cup Classic is more than the three Triple Crown races combined—of the season.
Note: Purse info courtesy of BreedersCup.com; $400,000 goes to Travel Awards
|1||Mucho Macho Man||Gary Stevens||Kathy Ritvo||$2,750,000|
|2||Will Take Charge||Luis Saez||D. Wayne Lukas||$900,000|
|3||Declaration of War||Joseph O'Brien||Aidan O'Brien||$500,000|
|4||Fort Larned||Brian Hernandez Jr.||Ian Wilkes||$300,000|
|5||Last Gunfighter||Javier Castellano||Chad Brown||$150,000|
|6||Palace Malice||Rafael Bejarano||Todd Pletcher|
|7||Paynter||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert|
|8||Flat Out||Joel Rosario||William Mott|
|9||Game On Dude||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert|
|10||Moreno||Joseph Talamo||Eric Guillot|
|11||Planteur||Ryan Moore||Marco Botti|
For the 50-year-old Stevens, who has won nine Triple Crown races and has countless Grade 1 Stakes wins, this was the one race that always alluded his resume.
But after getting out to a sizable lead on the final stretch, he and Mucho Macho Man, a five-year-old who had won just one Grade 1 race in his career, were able to hold off a flying Luis Saez and Will Take Charge in what turned out to be a photo finish.
Perhaps this was the race to push Stevens back into the analyst booth.
Of course, he's not the only one getting a part of the huge purse.
Trainer Katherine Ritvo, who amazingly underwent a heart transplant in 2008, became the first woman ever to train a Breeders' Cup Classic winner. She is one of the best stories of the year in all of sports and deserves this moment—and this prestigious award—as much as anyone.
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, which was founded in 2009, owns Mucho Macho Man.