Mike Smith

This Side Up: Oasis or Mirage?

In this instance, you really can't say that the grass is any greener on the other side of the fence. Take your dystopian pick: the floods of Kentucky, or the desiccation of Europe, where I've just returned from a vacation that seamlessly united the city parks of England and Italy in the same wasteland, with just a few bleached spikes still protruding from the baked, ashen earth. However illusory, then, it's a relief to find enough recognizable vegetation salvaged Stateside at least to host all three of Saturday's Grade I...

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Leparoux Wins Venezia Award

Jockey Julien Leparoux as the winner of the 2022 Mike Venezia Memorial Award, NYRA announced Friday. He was chosen by a committee comprised of members of the Venezia family, representatives of The Jockeys' Guild and retired Eclipse Award-winning jockey Richard Migliore. Leparoux will be recognized in a winner's circle ceremony at Saratoga Aug. 12. The Mike Venezia Memorial Award is presented annually to a jockey who displays the extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship that personified Venezia, who died as the result of injuries suffered in a spill in 1988. Venezia, a...

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Should the Triple Crown Be Changed? Industry Members Weigh In

After the connections of GI Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike (Keen Ice) opted to skip the GI Preakness S. and instead prepare for the GI Belmont S., the structure of the Triple Crown races has been a subject of debate leading up to the second leg of the historic series. Should the timing between the races be adjusted? We asked a few industry participants here.   Chad Brown: I wouldn't change anything. I'm always an advocate of preserving the history of the sport. It would take a lot for me...

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California's 'Lens of Equity' Could Benefit Jockeys

As part of a mandate that flows from the governor on down to the commissioners he has appointed to the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), the "lens of equity" may soon be focused squarely on the state's jockey colony. Fear not, California riders: This initiative means the owners of male horses that you pilot to victory in certain graded stakes might soon be compelled to award you a one-time breeding right if that winner goes on to become a stallion. That's a practice that was once a "gentleman's agreement" type...

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TDN Top-to-Bottom Derby Rundown

This week's Triple Crown feature examines the trips of GI Kentucky Derby runners in detail from first to last: 1) Rich Strike (unranked also-eligible in TDN pre-race rankings) There are three components of a metaphorical "black swan" event: The happenstance is highly unlikely; it has outsized consequences that almost no one sees coming, and people try to force a rationalization given the benefit of hindsight. That definition sums up Rich Strike's 80-1 shocker in the Derby. This former $30,000 maiden-claiming son of Keen Ice dropped sharply inside shortly after an...

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The Ageless One, Mike Smith Looking to Make Derby History

It was back in 1984 when a 19-year-old kid named Mike Smith rode in his first GI Kentucky Derby aboard sixth-place finisher Pine Circle. He was the youngest jockey in the race. The oldest was a legend, the then 52-year-old Bill Shoemaker. Aboard Silent King, Shoemaker was riding in the Derby for the 23rd time. As for Smith, he was just happy to be there, not knowing when he would get another chance. He never thought that one day he would become the Shoemaker of his generation. That's what Smith...

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Fourth Annual Live Telethon to Benefit PDJF to Be Held Apr. 10

TVG, the New York Racing Association, Keeneland and Santa Anita will team with Hall of Fame jockeys who are members of the Jockeys' Guild and other prominent racing personalities to raise money for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) Sunday, Apr. 10 for the fourth annual telethon to raise money for the PDJF. The event will be broadcast on both TVG and America's Day at the Races on FS2 in collaboration with NYRA and FOX Sports. After missing 2020 due to the pandemic, the popular event returned in 2021 and...

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Velazquez, Smith Re-Elected to Jockeys' Guild

Hall of Fame riders John Velazquez and Mike Smith were re-elected as co-chairmen at the Jockeys' Guild's annual meeting, which was held virtually Dec. 7. The riders in attendance also re-elected Javier Castellano and Julien Leparoux, along with newly elected Quarter Horse jockey James Flores, as vice-chairs; Joel Campbell as treasurer; and Rodney Prescott as secretary. In addition, Alex Birzer, Joe Bravo, and Drayden Van Dyke were re-elected to the board of directors. The members reviewed 2021 financials and the 2022 budget and had a variety of speakers including Senator...

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Lane's End Surfboard Auction Raises Nearly $50K for PDJF

Lane's End Farm helped raise nearly $50,000 for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) with the auction of 20 hand-crafted surfboards, each individually designed to highlight the nursery's stallion roster. The surfboards were created in partnership with the Cornett advertising agency and the Torrance, California-based Chili Surfboards. Prior to being auctioned off to the highest bidders, the surfboards were on public display at Breeders' Cup partner hotels in the Del Mar area as well as the racetrack over Breeders' Cup weekend. John Velazquez, Mike Smith, Drayden Van Dyke and Victor...

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Lane's End Surfboards to Benefit PDJF

Twenty-four handcrafted surfboards representing the entire Lane's End Farm stallion roster will be on display at Del Mar and at Breeders' Cup partner hotels from Nov. 3-6 and will be auctioned off to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, according to a press release from the farm Thursday. The PDJF is an independent charitable organization that provides financial assistance to jockeys who have suffered catastrophic injuries. The unique boards will be on public display at the Hyatt Regency, Fairmont Grand, Lodge at Torrey Pines, and L'Auberge—as well as Del Mar...

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Live Telethon to Benefit PDJF Returns to TVG Oct. 17

Hall of Fame jockeys, TVG's on-air talent and other prominent racing personalities will once again take to the phones Sunday, Oct. 17 as TVG and The Jockeys Guild host the third annual telethon to raise money for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). The event, canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, raised $330,000 in 2019, an increase of more than $100,000 over the inaugural event in 2018. Fan favorite jockeys of today and years past will be on hand live at call centers in California and Kentucky from 12:00...

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Rising Star Seeks BC Berth in American Pharoah

'TDN Rising Star' Corniche (Quality Road) looks to stamp his ticket to the upcoming GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile in Friday's GI American Pharoah S. at Santa Anita. Topping the OBS April sale at $1.5 million, the Speedway Stable colorbearer wired the field for an effortless 4 1/4-length graduation in his 5 1/2-panel unveiling at Del Mar Sept. 4, earning a gaudy 98 Beyer Speed Figure. His breeding indicates this extension to a route of ground should be no problem and with his rail draw, pilot Mike Smith is likely to...

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