If you know anything about horse racing you are probably familiar with Mike Smith, the jockey. His career has not been an easy one. He started at the age 11 and wasn’t really old enough, but did what they would allow in his home town of Roswell, New Mexico. At age 16 he could officially ride as a licensed jockey and he also won his first race with Forever Man at Santa Fe.
1998 was not kind to Mike. First he broke his shoulder. Then he had another spill and broke his back. He had to wear a body brace for several months. However, he loves to jockey and the next year he was on a mount for the 1999 Gulfstream meet. That is tenacity.
The number of awards he has won in his career is astounding and still when he speaks what you hear is gratitude and humility. He works out about six hours a day and it shows. At the age of 52 to be this competitive is such a sport is a very real accomplishment. The smile you see on this face in genuine. He loves what he does.
If there is a Triple Crown Winner this year, having Mike Smith on the horse would take the meaning and importance to a whole new level to many of us who have grown to love and appreciate both the man and his talent.