Ride Along with Pro Jockey Mike Smith

The Famed Jockey Shares the Details Around His Triumphs and Everything in Between

Written by: Tyler Holland Jockey Mike Smith

Mike Smith went on to become one of the leading riders in American Thoroughbred racing and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2003.

Of course, winning the Kentucky Derby was an amazing experience, but as soon as he begins to feel like this is as good as it gets, something comes around that completely changes things.

Mike Smith discovered his love of horses while growing up in New Mexico. Raised on a ranch, he had the opportunity to ride horses, including race horses, which developed his love at an early age. Eventually that love transitioned to the desire to become a jockey. Mike Smith attended match day in New Mexico and frequented races when he was only seven years old. He started riding at the age of 11, and in 1982, when he was finally old enough, he got a pro jockey license.

The rest, as they say, is history. Mike Smith went on to become one of the leading riders in American Thoroughbred racing and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2003. With over 5, 000 wins and several awards, including the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey and the Mike Venezia Memorial Award for “extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship, ” saying Smith is accomplished is an understatement.

Each moment took Smith to a different place in life. Of course, winning the Kentucky Derby was an amazing experience, but as soon as he begins to feel like this is as good as it gets, something comes around that completely changes things. Horse racing, like many other sports, is complex and there are subtleties onlookers would never pick up on. Fans think you can break away whenever you want and go around the other racers. Many may wonder, why didn’t he just go around the side? After all, there is a lot of room and everyone seems to be bunched together. There is much more strategy than that.

The parts that look the easiest are often the hardest to do successfully. Not to mention the fact you are dealing with a live animal with a mind of its own. Even if you want to go left, the horse may want to go right. You have to be in complete sync.

Mike Smith’s Favorite Horses to Ride? Holy Bull and Zenyatta

Mike Smith’s Advice to Becoming a Great Jockey? “Practice the little things and try to do them better than everyone else.”

Ride Alongside a Real Pro Jockey

Website | + posts

Trending

11 Waterfront Restaurants in Orange County With Unforgettable Views
Make a Splash at the 16 Coolest Pools in Greater Palm Springs
Bare It All: Here Are 8 of the Best Nude Resorts in California
10 Resorts With the Freshest Poolside Cocktails in All of Southern California

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

INTERESTS

Related Content

Join our mailing list.Be the first to know about the best eats, shops, sights and escapes of Southern California.
Skip to content