Gary Stevens rides one long shot to victory at Santa Anita, nearly...

Gary Stevens rides one long shot to victory at Santa Anita, nearly wins with another

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On the first day after Christmas, jockey Gary Stevens was trying to milk the last teaspoon of energy out of Camby down the Santa Anita stretch.

The longest shot in the second race of the track’s 81st winter-spring meet opening day seemingly had secured an unassailable lead. The few in the crowd of 40,023 who essentially bought a lottery ticket on Camby at the pari-mutuel windows could envision a payoff substantial enough to put a dent in their holiday gift-giving debt.

But Camby was a 55-1 shot for a reason. He was hauled down just before the wire by Kanthaka, an outcome that was disappointing to some — but not to the runner-up’s rider.

“I was pretty much…



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