Mike E. Smith

Born into a New Mexico racing family, Mike Smith rode his first official winner in his home state at Santa Fe Downs in 1982. While growing up, Smith's father rode horses and his uncle trained them. After learning to ride at the bush tracks at the age of 11, Smith took out a license at age 16. 

Mike Smith (Brien Bouyea)
Inducted

2003

Born

Aug. 10, 1965, Roswell, New Mexico

Career

1982-

Wins

5,597

Earnings

$332,384,461

Racing Record

16.59

Win %

Biography

Born into a New Mexico racing family, Mike Smith rode his first official winner in his home state at Santa Fe Downs in 1982. While growing up, Smith's father rode horses and his uncle trained them. After learning to ride at the bush tracks at the age of 11, Smith took out a license at age 16. 

Smith rose to stardom in the 1990s, winning the first of his record 26 Breeders’ Cup races in 1992, and winning the Eclipse Award in 1993 and 1994. In 1993, Smith set a North American record with 62 stakes victories. Two years later, he broke his own record with 68 stakes wins, including 20 of the Grade 1 variety.

Smith has won seven Triple crown races, including a sweep of the series in 2018 with undefeated Justify. He also won the Kentucky Derby in 2005 with 50-1 longshot Giacomo; the Preakness in 1993 with Prairie Bayou; and the Belmont in 2010 with Drosselmeyer and 2013 with Palace Malice.

Four of Smith’s Breeders’ Cup wins have come in the Classic, with Hall of Famers Skip Away (1997) and Zenyatta (2009), as well as Drosselmeyer (2011) and champion Arrogate (2016). He has won five editions of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, with the Hall of Famers Inside Information (1995), Azeri (2002), Zenyatta (2008), and Royal Delta (2012), as well as Ajina (1997).

Smith has also ridden Hall of Famers Holy Bull, Lure, Heavenly Prize, and Sky Beauty, among others. He earned his 5,000th career victory in 2012 aboard champion Amazombie at Santa Anita.

In December of 2019, Smith won his 217th Grade 1 race, breaking the record previously held by Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey. Through October 2020, Smith has won 5,597 races with purse earnings of $332,384,461.

Achievements

Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey — 1993, 1994

Triple Crown Highlights

Won the 2005 Kentucky Derby — Giacomo
Won the 2018 Kentucky Derby — Justify
Won the 1993 Preakness Stakes — Prairie Bayou
Won the 2018 Preakness Stakes — Justify
Won the 2010 Belmont Stakes — Drosselmeyer 
Won the 2013 Belmont Stakes — Palace Malice
Won the 2018 Belmont Stakes — Justify 

Breeders' Cup Highlights

Won the 1992 Mile — Lure
Won the 1993 Mile — Lure 
Won the 1994 Sprint — Cherokee Run
Won the 1994 Turf — Tikkanen
Won the 1995 Juvenile — Unbridled's Song
Won the 1995 Distaff — Inside Information
Won the 1997 Distaff — Ajina
Won the 1997 Classic — Skip Away
Won the 2002 Juvenile — Vindication
Won the 2002 Distaff — Azeri
Won the 2008 Juvenile Fillies — Stardom Bound
Won the 2008 Ladies' Classic —Zenyatta
Won the 2009 Classic — Zenyatta
Won the 2011 Sprint — Amazombie
Won the 2011 Classic — Drosselmeyer
Won the 2012 Turf Sprint — Mizdirection
Won the 2012 Ladies' Classic — Royal Delta
Won the 2013 Marathon — London Bridge
Won the 2013 Juvenile Turf — Outstrip
Won the 2013 Turf Sprint — Mizdirection
Won the 2014 Filly and Mare Sprint — Judy the Beauty
Won the 2015 Juvenile Fillies — Songbird
Won the 2016 Filly and Mare Sprint — Finest City
Won the 2016 Dirt Mile — Tamarkuz
Won the 2016 Classic — Arrogate
Won the 2017 Juvenile Fillies — Caledonia Road 

Media

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