“The Rise of Mike E. Smith: A Trailblazing Jockey’s Journey to the Top” 

 April 2, 2023


Mike E. Smith is a trailblazing jockey who has won top honors in the horse racing industry. He began his journey in horse riding from a young age and has since then, improved greatly, becoming one of the industry’s most recognized figures. In this post, we will delve into his journey- from the start of his horse riding career to his rise in racing, his wins, and challenges.

Early Life and Career

Mike Smith was born in Roswell, New Mexico. He grew up helping his father train quarter horses and developed a love for horse riding. Smith was inspired by Bill Shoemaker, the legendary jockey, and dreamed of being like him. At the age of 11, he began racing Quarter Horses in New Mexico and later moved on to riding Thoroughbreds.

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Rise to the Top in Racing

Mike’s determination and hard work paid off in 1993 when he rode Lure to become the Breeders’ Cup Mile Champ. This win put Smith in the spotlight, and he accumulated a huge fan base. He went on to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes on two different horses. Mike also took the prize home four times at the Belmont Stakes; in 2018, he rode Justify to win the Triple Crown, making him the oldest jockey to accomplish this feat.

Mike E. Smith’s Awards and Honors

Mike Smith has gained multiple awards and accolades for his achievements and contributions to horse racing. He has won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award three times and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2003 and also into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.

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The Challenges Faced by Mike Smith

Mike Smith has not been on top at all times; he has faced numerous setbacks and challenges along his horse riding journey. In 1998, he got injured and was out of horse racing for four months, and he had to build his way up from the ground. He has also suffered injuries, including a spiral fracture in his left leg in 1990, but he never gave up and came back stronger.

Mike E. Smith’s Philanthropy Work

Aside from his success as a jockey, Mike is also known for his generous philanthropy work. He has committed a significant amount of time and money towards disease education, research, and prevention. He has worked alongside organizations such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, breast cancer research, and the injured jockeys fund.

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Q1) How many times has Mike Smith won the Kentucky Derby?

A1) Mike Smith has won the Kentucky Derby twice, in 2005 and 2018.

Q2) What horse did Mike Smith ride to win the Triple Crown in 2018?

A2) Mike Smith rode Justify to win the Triple Crown in 2018.

Q3) How did Mike Smith begin his journey in horse riding?

A3) Mike Smith began his horse riding journey helping his father train quarter horses from a young age.

Q4) What awards has Mike Smith won?

A4) Mike Smith has won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award three times. He has also been inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, and the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.

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Q5) How has Mike Smith contributed to philanthropy work?

A5) Mike Smith has contributed significantly to philanthropy work, including making contributions to cancer research, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the injured jockey’s fund.

Q6) What happened to Mike Smith in 1998?

A6) In 1998, Mike Smith sustained an injury and was out of horse racing for four months.

Q7) What is the name of the legendary jockey that inspired Mike Smith’s dream of being a jockey?

A7) Bill Shoemaker inspired Mike Smith’s dream of being a jockey.


Mike E. Smith’s journey to the top was not just about his horse riding success. He has also been an inspiration and hope to many others through his philanthropy work. His achievements are a testament to hard work, determination, and never giving up on passion. Horse racing has benefited significantly from his involvement and accomplishments, and his legacy will continue to be recognized within the industry for years to come.

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