Photo courtesy of Benoit & Associates
"We are thrilled to have a rider of Gary's caliber," Crawford said in a statement released March 13. "Gary is a great communicator who will work closely with us to make sure Dullahan gets the kind of ride that will make him a winner in Dubai.
"Of even greater significance is the fact that Donegal and Stevens are working on an agreement to make Gary the rider on all of Donegal's horses for the remainder of 2013 and beyond," Crawford added.
Stevens replaces Kieren Fallon on Dullahan. The 4-year-old Even the Score colt was soundly defeated in his debut at Meydan March 9 in the Burj Nahaar Sponsored By Emirates Holidays, finishing 11th in a 14-horse field. Dullahan was previously unbeaten on all-weather tracks, including victories in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar and the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland last year.
Dale Romans trains Dullahan, a lifetime winner of three of 15 races with earnings of more than $1.7 million.
Crawford noted that Donegal has tremendous expectations for its current 2-year-old crop saying, "We can't imagine anyone better (than Stevens) to get our babies started and headed toward Triple Crown 2014.
Stevens remarked, "Donegal Racing has become one of the premier and top earning partnerships in America and their confidence in my comeback is very gratifying."