From coast to coast, the 2016 summer season of horse racing is upon us! I took a few moments to catch up with Hall of Fame Jockey Mike Smith during Opening Weekend at Del Mar where we discuss his thoughts on the lifestyle at Del Mar, the sensational filly Songbird and fond memories at Saratoga.
- “It’s pretty laid back and cool,” says Smith, who truly enjoys the summer meet at Del Mar. Could you imagine riding by the quarter pole with a view of the ocean and the grandstand? He suggests that if you’ve never visited to Del Mar, or if you’ve been forty times, that you have to go to the ocean before the race day.
- “She’s looking, honestly, better than she ever has,” Smith shares about Songbird. He has every intention to visit “The Spa” on more than one occasion this summer to ride the undefeated 3-year old filly. Songbird’s next performance will be the Gr. I $500 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 24th at Saratoga. If her workouts are any indication of how she will perform this Sunday, we are in store for one exciting race. Should this race go well, Songbird will continue to train in Saratoga to prep for the Alabama Stakes in August.
- “I don’t have a bad memory,” said Smith. Really though, what’s there not to love about Saratoga? Mike shared with me some of his favorites moments from racing over the years at Saratoga from winning the 1994 Travers Stakes on Holy Bull to having the opportunity to compete against the “King of Saratoga,” Hall of Fame Jockey Angel Cordero, Jr.
It’s not every day that you have a chance to sit down and chat with your favorite jockey. I was completely honored that Mike Smith set aside time during his busy racing day to spend a few moments with me. He is a class act!
Thank you, Mikey. We will see you and Songbird at The Spa!
/ xo, ci /