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Tom Smith

Tom Smith
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   Tom Smith was born in a log cabin in the woods of northwest Georgia in 1878. As a young man, he trained horses for the United States Cavalry and worked on a cattle ranch. In the 1920s, he worked for C.B. “Cowboy” Irwin’s Wild West Show and his racing stable. When Irwin’s show closed down, Smith ended up on the West Coast, where he went to work for Charles S. Howard in 1933.

   On Smith’s recommendation, Howard purchased Seabiscuit for $8,000. Under Smith’s care, Seabiscuit went from racing in the claiming ranks to becoming one of the most popular and successful racehorses of the 20th century. Seabiscuit won major stakes throughout the country and defeated Triple Crown winner War Admiral in the 1938 Pimlico Special. Seabiscuitalso won the inaugural Hollywood Gold Cup and the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap, among others.

   Along with Seabiscuit, Smith also trained Kayak II and Mioland to handicap champion titles.Later training for Mrs. Elizabeth Arden’s Maine Chance Farm, Smith conditioned the colt Star Pilot and the filly Beaugay to the respective 3-year-old championships in 1945. In 1947, Smith won the Kentucky Derby with Maine Chance’s Jet Pilot.

   Smith led the nation’s trainers in earnings twice (1940 and 1945). His 29 stakes winners also included Lord Boswell and Porter’s Cap. Among his other notable victories are the Bay Meadows Handicap (2), Brooklyn Handicap, Massachusetts

   Handicap, American Derby, Santa Anita Derby, Beldame Stakes, Belmont Futurity Stakes, Hopeful Stakes, and Jamaica Handicap.

   Tom Smith was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2001.