Propelled by three wins over the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 1-2, Mike Smith won his second Bill Shoemaker Award in a row as the most outstanding jockey of the 30th edition of the event at Santa Anita Park.
Smith, 48, scored back-to-back victories in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon (gr. II) on London Bridge and Outstrip in the Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 1, and was victorious aboard Mizdirection in the Geico Turf Sprint (gr. IT) the following day. The Hall of Fame rider extended his all-time lead in Breeders’ Cup victories to 20. Jerry Bailey, retired with 15 wins in the Cup, ranks second.
Combined with a second-place finish on Laugh Track in the Xpressbet Sprint (gr. I), a third-place finish on Emollient in the Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), and a fourth-place finish on Royal Delta in the Distaff (gr. I), Smith’s 37-point total edged fellow Hall of Famer Gary Stevens (33) in a 10-5-3-1 scoring system based on the first through fourth-place finishes in the 14 Breeders’ Cup races.
Stevens, 50, booted home winners in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff with Beholder and the Classic (gr. I) on Mucho Macho Man. He was awarded five points for finishing second in the Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) on She's a Tiger following her disqualification from first place. He earned another second-place finish on Havana in the Juvenile (gr. I) and a third-place finish on Indy Point in the Turf.
The Bill Shoemaker Award is named in honor of one of the greatest jockeys in the history of Thoroughbred racing. A winner of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) four times, Shoemaker won more than 8,800 races in a career that spanned more than 40 years. In 1987, at 56, Shoemaker won the Breeders’ Cup Classic aboard Ferdinand.
“It was a great honor to win the award last year for the first time but winning it a second time means much more to me because it’s so much harder to do,” said the 48-year-old Smith, from Roswell, N.M. Commenting on the late Shoemaker, Smith said “As small as he was, he was a giant of a man on horseback and off.”
Smith also ranks first among jockeys in total purse earnings with $25,614,260. Retired Pat Day is second with $23,033,360.
Stevens joined Smith as the only rider to win the Classic and the Distaff in the same year. Smith did it in 1997 at Hollywood Park with Ajina in the Distaff and Skip Away in the Classic.
Bill Shoemaker Award Winners
2003: Alex Solis
2004: John Velazquez
2005: Garrett Gomez
2006: Frankie Dettori
2007: Garrett Gomez
2008: Garrett Gomez
2009: Julien Leparoux
2010: Garrett Gomez
2011: John Velazquez
2012: Mike Smith
2013: Mike Smith