After setting a record for most Grade 1 victories, Mike Smith was voted Jockeys’ Guild Foundation Detox Jockey of the Week for December 23-29, 2019. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America. Jockey of the Week is sponsored by FoundationDetox.com, America’s #1 Equine Toxin Remover.
Voters were unanimous in their decision to honor Mike Smith as Jockey of the Week after the Hall of Fame rider and Triple Crown winning jockey reached a new career milestone. On Saturday at Santa Anita, Smith won two Grade 1 stakes, besting the record for all-time career Grade 1 stakes wins by a single jockey previously set by Jerry Bailey.
Bailey’s record held strong at 216 until last weekend, when Smith first tied the record in the $300,000 La Brea Stakes (G1) with longshot Hard Not to Love ($25.20), upsetting favored Bellafina.
The Grade 1 record fell two races later in the $300,000 Malibu Stakes (G1) with Omaha Beach ($2.80); the pair defeated Roadster and Joel Rosario by nearly three lengths.
In addition, Smith won the Robert J. Frankel (G3) with Mirth ($4.80) between the two Grade 1 races to complete a graded stakes hat trick on the card. He also won the Lady of Shamrock Stakes with Brill and was third in the American Oaks (G1) with Pretty Point. He was the only North American jockey to win four stakes last week.
Last week, Smith started in seven stakes races and topped the leaderboard by stakes earnings with $505,542. He was the second leading rider by total earnings for the week, adding $511,082 to his 2019 total of $10,114,463. In his career to date, he has earned over $328 million.
Smith finished in the money in half of his ten races last week, including the four stakes wins. He is 64 for 275 in 2019 and has 5,556 wins in 33,508 starts over the course of his career.
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