September 24, 1997 in Sports

Stephens Reaches Finish Line In 67-Year Career As Trainer

Compiled From Wire Services

Hall of Fame trainer Woody Stephens announced his retirement, ending a 67-year career during which his horses won five straight Belmont Stakes and captured more than 100 Grade I stakes.

Stephens, 84, has been semi-retired for the last several years. He recently turned over his last two horses to his former assistant, Billy Badgett.

Stephens, 84, had a short and unsuccessful career as a jockey in Chicago when he was 16 years old. He later shifted his focus to training and went on to saddle eight Triple Crown race winners.

He won the Kentucky Derby in 1974 with Canonade and again with Swale in 1984. His lone Preakness Stakes winner was Blue Man in 1952.

However, his greatest Triple Crown success came in the Belmont Stakes, where he saddled five straight winners: Conquistador Cielo in 1982, Caveat in 1983, Swale in 1984, Creme Fraiche in 1985 and Danzig Connection in 1986.

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