Mike Smith

TVG Expands Collaboration With Jockeys

Officials at TVG have announced that members of the Del Mar riding colony will collaborate with the network to enhance its daily coverage of horse racing. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who has appeared in commercial endorsements for TVG in the past, will be joined by his colleagues Umberto Rispoli, Flavien Prat and Jessica Pyfer in contributing to broadcasts, social media content and overall online presence. In addition to periodically wearing cameras on their helmets during races, all the jockeys will make appearances as special guests on the network...

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Life Is Good Justifies the Hype in San Felipe

Representing part of the group that campaigned 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy), and sharing a sire and some quirks with last year's Horse of the Year Authentic (Into Mischief), Life Is Good further asserted his position as the best of Bob Baffert's current crop of 3-year-olds Saturday, demolishing his competition in the GII San Felipe S. at Santa Anita. WinStar Farm and CHC Inc.'s 'TDN Rising Star' was a 9 1/2-length sprint winner on debut at Del Mar Nov. 22, and had been off since defeating stablemate Medina...

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Report: Egan, Smith Penalized for Saudi Cup Rides

According to a report on the website HorseRacingPlanet.com, winning jockey David Egan was fined $100,000 and suspended two days for excessive use of the whip when riding Mishriff (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}) to victory in the $20-million Saudi Cup Saturday. The Saudi stewards determined that Egan hit his mount 11 times, one more than the maximum allowed. Egan hit Mishriff several times in the stretch, starting out with his left hand before switching over to his right. In addition, the website reported that Mike Smith was handed a two-day suspension...

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Foley Takes Jockeys Challenge

Irish jockey Shane Foley took top honours in the stc International Jockeys Challenge in Riyadh in Friday after winning two of the four races comprising the contest, which set the stage for Saturday's card that includes the $20-million Saudi Cup. Foley beat just three home in the opening leg of the challenge, which was won by Mike Smith, who was deputizing for jockey John Velazquez whose trip to Saudi was dashed on account of travel-related issues. Foley turned things around in the next race, however, navigating Emblem Star (Take Charge...

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Knicks Go Headed to Saudi Cup; DWC Possible

Coming off a dominant win in the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational, Knicks Go (Paynter) is scheduled to make his next start in the $20 million Saudi Cup on Feb. 20 in Riyadh. "As long as he breezes well this weekend, we're going to the Saudi Cup," trainer Brad Cox said. "We plan to ship him out Monday [Feb. 8]." Cox said the decision became easier when it became clear that Knicks Go came out of the Pegasus in perfect shape. "The owners [the Korea Racing Authority] would like to...

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American Runners Ready for Return to Riyadh

A year ago, a brigade of American runners dominated results in the inaugural running of the $20-million Saudi Cup, taking four of the top five placings in the world's richest race. Another top-level group of U.S.-based horses are set to return to Riyadh for the second running of the 1 1/8-miles race Feb. 20. Leading the group is Charlatan (Speightstown), who returned from a layoff to record a scintillating victory in the Dec. 26 GI Malibu S. last month. The newly turned 4-year-old worked six furlongs in 1:12.60 (1/5) at...

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'Rising Star' Makes 'Good' in Sham

China Horse Club and WinStar's Life Is Good (Into Mischief) lived up to his dazzling, 'TDN Rising Star'-worthy debut with a good-looking score in Saturday's GIII Sham S. at Santa Anita. Romping by 9 1/2 lengths in his 6 1/2-panel unveiling at Del Mar Nov. 22, he fired a pair of bullet works in the interim and was hammered down to 1-5 favoritism to repeat in this first try at two turns. Not off to the fastest start from the outside post in this five-horse affair, the $525,000 KEESEP purchase...

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Velazquez and Smith Reelected as Jockeys' Guild Co-Chairmen

Hall of Famers John Velazquez and Mike Smith were reelected as co-chairmen of the Jockeys' Guild during the organization's annual meeting, held virtually Dec. 8. Sponsored by TVG/Betfair, the meeting included a riding crop discussion and an update of the various state regulations and track house rules which have been adopted this year. In addition to Velazquez and Smith, also reelected were Ricky Ramirez, Julien Leparoux, and Javier Castellano as vice-chairs; Joel Campbell as treasurer; Rodney Prescott as secretary; and Joe Bravo and Alex Birzer as directors on the board....

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Mike Smith Positive for COVID-19; Will Miss Weekend Mounts

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him to bypass this weekend's stakes action at Los Alamitos, according to the DRF's Steve Andersen Friday. "I don't have any symptoms," he told DRF. "I'll have to wait a few days and test again. Hopefully, I'll be back up for the following week. I'll watch a little Netflix." Smith, whose positive was determined following a test at Santa Anita Friday, was scheduled to accompany Astute (Speightstown) in Saturday's GI Starlet S. and Proud Emma (Include) in Sunday's...

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Radical Change, Status Quo, or Middle Ground for New York Whip Rules?

New York has lagged other racing states in addressing changes to whip use designed to be more humane to Thoroughbreds. But not being an early adopter of controversial new rules can sometimes be an advantage, because regulators are able to assess what is and isn't working in other jurisdictions before making potentially radical modifications to long-standing practices. That was the tone of discussion during the Oct. 19 teleconference meeting of the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC), which conducted what amounted to a 2 1/4-hour opinion-gathering dialogue on whether or...

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Riders Up Documentary Takes Look Behind Scenes at “First Sports Bubble”

As the  realities of the coronavirus started to spread across California and the country, the team at Santa Anita wasn't sure how to prepare for what could have quickly escalated into a dire situation for the track and the sport. But what began as a scramble of sorts led to a well-coordinated plan. Racing would successfully return to the historic Southern California track and with an innovative wrinkle. During the racing week, the jockeys were required to live in a bubble in campers situated on track. What might at first...

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Jockeys Pledge Support to Injured Rider Vinnie Bednar

Jockeys Javier Castellano, Mike Smith, John Velazquez, Manuel Franco and Tyler Gaffalione have pledged a percentage of their earnings from the GI Kentucky Oaks and GI Kentucky Derby race cards to help rider 28-year-old rider Vinnie Bednar, who suffered a catastrophic fall at Los Alamitos Racetrack Aug. 22. Bednar is currently experiencing lower-limb paralysis following initial surgery at USC Medical Center in Los Angeles. He remains hospitalized while awaiting transfer to the Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, a world-renowned, premier center for spinal and brain injury. The accident occurred in...

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