Michael Earl Smith is an American jockey who has been one of the leading riders in U.S. Thoroughbred racing since the early 1990s, was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2003, and has won the most Breeders’ Cup races of any jockey with 26 Breeders’ Cup wins.Smith is also the second leading jockey of all time in earnings with over $312 million. In 2018, Smith rode Justify to the Triple Crown, becoming the oldest jockey to win the title at age 52.
Mike Smith earned the 5,000th victory of his Hall of Fame career when he teamed with 2011 sprint champion Amazombie to capture the $150,000 Potrero Grande Stakes at Santa Anita Park on April 7, 2012.
As he became older, Smith chose to ride fewer but more lucrative races, and his success in doing so, particularly his ability to stay calm in the most high-pressure races, earned him the nickname “Big Money Mike“. In 2017, Smith became the 14th winner of the Laffit Pincay Jr. Award given by the Hall of Fame jockey it is named for. Recipients are given the award for having served the sport of horse racing “with integrity, extraordinary dedication, determination, and distinction.”
“When we started this award back in 2004, Mike Smith was absolutely the sort of person we had in mind as one of our winners,” Pincay said. “I only got to ride against him briefly out here, but I’ve followed his career over the years and he’s been a model of consistency, class, and pure athletic ability. He’s a star in all senses of the word and it is an honor to honor him.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Smith at the Great Sports Legends Dinner , were he was honored with the 2018 Great Sports Legend , see more about Sports Legends in our World Liberty TV Sports Channels and Blogs by Clicking here.