Mike E. Smith bigraphy, stories - American jockey

Mike E. Smith : biography

August 10, 1965 -

Michael Earl "Mike" Smith (born August 10, 1965, in Roswell, New Mexico) is an American jockey who has been one of the leading riders in U.S. thoroughbred racing since the early 1990s.

The son of a jockey, Smith began riding races in his native New Mexico at age 11, and took out a jockey's license at age 16 in 1982. He left New Mexico the following year, riding mostly in the Midwest where he earned his apprenticeship at Canterbury Downs Minnesota before moving to New York in 1989.

Selected other Graded Stakes wins

  • Vagrancy Handicap (1991, 1994, 1995)
  • Fall Highweight Handicap (1992)
  • Alabama Stakes (1993, 1994, 1995, 2000)
  • Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (1993, 1996)
  • Clark Handicap (1993)
  • Dwyer Stakes (1994, 1998)
  • Lawrence Realization Stakes (1995, 1999)
  • Tropical Park Oaks (1995)
  • Discovery Handicap (1996, 1997)
  • NYRA Mile Handicap (1996)
  • Cowdin Stakes (1997, 1991)
  • Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap (2002)
  • Lexington Stakes (2002)
  • Milady Handicap (2002, 2003, 2008, 2009)
  • Rancho Bernardo Handicap (2004, 2008)
  • San Diego Handicap (2006)
  • San Gabriel Handicap (2007)
  • A Gleam Invitational Handicap (2008)
  • Del Mar Derby (2008)
  • Fair Grounds Handicap (2008)
  • La Habra Stakes (2009)
  • Thunder Road Handicap (2009)
  • Sunland Derby (2009)
  • San Pasqual Handicap (2010, 2012)
  • Santa Margarita Handicap (2002, 2004, 2010)
  • Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap (2010)
  • Arcadia Handicap (2012)
  • Delaware Handicap (2012)
  • Fleur De Lis Handicap (2012)
  • Inglewood Handicap (2012)
  • Potrero Grande Stakes (2012)

Year-end charts

Chart (2000–present) Peakposition
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2000 17
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2001 39
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2002 11
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2003 18
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2004 21
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2005 25
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2006 54
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2007 30
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2008 15
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2009 11
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2010 14
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2011 14
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2012 13

Career

In 1991, he became one of the few American jockeys to win a European classic by claiming victory in the Irish 2,000 Guineas aboard Fourstars Allstar (some other American jockeys, notably Steve Cauthen, had won European classics before Smith, but were based in Europe). Also that year he got his big break by leading jockey in New York from 1991–93, with 330, 297 and 313 wins, respectively. The following year, he rode his first Breeders' Cup winner, Lure, in the Breeders' Cup Mile.

The year after that, 1993, he truly arrived as a top jockey, setting a North American record for stakes wins in a year with 62. Among his highlights were a win in the Preakness aboard Prairie Bayou-who was later euthanized after breaking down in the Belmont Stakes while being ridden by Smith-and a successful defense of the Breeders' Cup Mile aboard Lure. That year, he won his first Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey, and also won an ESPY Award as top jockey. In 1994, he broke his own record for stakes wins with 68, 20 of them Grade I races. Several of those wins came while riding that year's Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year winner, Holy Bull. He also rode two winners in that year's Breeders' Cup, and again won the Eclipse Award as leading jockey. Smith went on to ride two Breeders' Cup winners in both 1995 and 1997.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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