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Robert A. Smith

Robert A. Smith
Induction Year: 
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   Robert Smith’s good nature led to his being known as “Whistling Bob.” Born in 1869 in Newburgh, N.Y., Smith ran away from home at a young age and sold newspapers to support himself before going to work for August Belmont.

   Smith worked for a while as an exercise rider before becoming a trainer for Mrs. Isabel Dodge Sloane’s Brookmeade Stable. For Brookmeade, Smith won two-thirds of the 1934 Triple Crown, taking the Kentucky Derby with Cavalcade and the Preakness Stakes with High Quest. Smith was the nation’s leading trainer in 1933 and 1934. During that time, he also won the Travers Stakes with Inlander, the hopeful with Psychic Bid, and the Florida Derby with Time Clock.

  Smith also trained for Walter M. Jeffords (for whom he won the 1923 Hopeful with Diogenes), Audley Farm, Admiral Cary T. Grayson, and Phil T. Chinn, among others. He conditioned Cavalcade to 1934 Horse of the Year Honors, and was also the trainer for champions Florence Nightingale (1925 Champion 3-Year-Old Female) and Edith Cavell (1926 Champion 3-Year-Old Female).

  Away from the track, Smith managed a Long island hotel and trained and managed professional boxers, including Frank Erne, who won the world lightweight championship in 1899.

  Robert Smith was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1976.