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CVI hosts Breeders’ Cup celebration

The Breeders’ Cup Holiday Party held Tuesday night at the Carson Valley Inn featured all-star jockeys Mike Smith, Martin Garcia and Gary Stevens, and in the center, Mike Pegram, is owner of the Carson Valley Inn and Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Secret Circle.
Dave Price | Record-Courier

Three all-star jockeys were part of the celebration Tuesday night during a special racing industry Breeders’ Cup Holiday Party at the Carson Valley Inn.

The event served as a celebration of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint victory last month by Mike Pegram-owned Secret Circle. Pegram is owner of the Carson Valley Inn.

Three of the featured guests were Hall of Fame jockeys Mike Smith and Gary Stevens, along with Martin Garcia, who rode Secret Circle to the Breeders’ Cup victory on Nov. 2.



“It was most gratifying to have three of the top jockeys here interacting so comfortably with our guests — two in the Hall of Fame and one destined for the Hall of Fame,” Pegram said. “I am honored to have them as friends.”

Secret Circle also won the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint. The colt has finished first seven times and second twice in a nine-start, 2½-year career.



Garcia, 29, who has been racing since 2005, also rode Pegram-owned Lookin’ at Lucky to victory at the Preakness Stakes in 2010. In 2013, his 706 starts have produced 114 first-place finishes and more than $9.7 million in total purse earnings.

“It’s great to be here,” Garcia said. “I’m fortunate to be with the right people. When you’re with the right people, a lot of good things can happen.”

Smith has been one of the leading riders in U.S. Thoroughbred racing since the early 1990s and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2003. He has won the most Breeders’ Cup races of any jockey.

Stevens has won eight Breeders’ Cup races from 86 mounts (see related story).

Another of Pegram’s racers, Real Quiet, won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 1998 and then came in second by a nose in the 1998 Belmont Stakes to narrowly miss capturing the Triple Crown.