Mike Smith

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Gayego Answers Dirt Question at Oaklawn

Gayego Answers Dirt Question at Oaklawn

After doing all of his running on Southern California's synthetic tracks, favored Gayego proved he has no problem with a conventional dirt surface, either. The Paulo Lobo-trained invader repelled Z Fortune in the stretch run for a three-quarter-length victory in the $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.

Speedy Daytona Wins Hollywood Derby

Speedy Daytona Wins Hollywood Derby

Front-running Daytona wasn't supposed to be able to take the field all the way in the 1 1/4-mile Hollywood Derby, but nobody told jockey Mike Smith. They controlled the pace to win the $500,000 turf test for 3-year-olds, defeating Medici Code by a half-length at Hollywood Park Nov. 25.

Foxy Danseur Wires Sharp Cat

Foxy Danseur Wires Sharp Cat

Odds-on favorite Foxy Danseur shook loose of pace rival Champagne Eyes mid-stretch and drew off to a 2 3/4-length win in the $107,100 Sharp Cat for 2-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park Nov. 17.

Tessa Blue Topples Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks

Bruce Lunsford's Tessa Blue blew off the final turn more than four lengths in front and kept rolling to the easiest of victories for her first graded stakes win in the $406,500 Indiana Breeders Cup Oaks (gr. III) the night of Oct. 5 at Hoosier Park.

Tiago Terrific in Goodwood, Earns Classic Ticket

Tiago Terrific in Goodwood, Earns Classic Ticket

Tiago loves Santa Anita, no matter the surface. In his first start at the Arcadia, Calif., track since winning the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on the old dirt track April 7, the 3-year-old colt delivered a desperate nose victory over the unlucky Awesome Gem in the $520,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup (gr. I) on the new Cushion Track Sept. 29.

Tiago Tiptoes to Swaps Triumph

Tiago Tiptoes to Swaps Triumph

Jerry and Ann Moss' Tiago, guided through a narrow opening at the rail mid-stretch by jockey Mike Smith, went to victory as the even-money choice in the $368,250 Swaps Breeders' Cup (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park Saturday.

Belmont Cast Members Put in Final Rehearsals

Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contenders Hard Spun, Imawildandcrazyguy, and Tiago, as well as Todd Pletcher-trained candidates Rags to Riches and Circular Quay, all hit the Belmont main track for work-outs Sunday morning.

Chinese Dragon Sets Off Fireworks in SF Mile

Making his first start in more than a year, Chinese Dragon rallied along the inside for jockey Mike Smith to nose the outsider Vega's Lord while capturing the $300,000 San Francisco Mile (gr. IIT) on the Golden Gate Fields turf course Saturday.

Boca Grande Heads Forward Gal Stakes

A field of seven 3-year-old fillies is set for the seven-furlong Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II) March 10 at Gulfstream Park. Heading the group is Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) winner Boca Grande.

Oprah Winney Has Last Word in Barbara Fritchie

New York shipper Oprah Winney fought off all comers to record her first graded stakes win, a front-running three-quarters of a length victory over Silmaril in the $285,000 Barbara Fritchie Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Laurel Park Saturday.

With Time Running Out, Smith Gets Saratoga Stakes Win

Going into the final day of the Saratoga meet on Monday, Labor Day, jockey Mike Smith found himself in the rare position of having no stakes victories and only three wins overall during the meet, but Smith redeemed himself when he rode Gary A. Tanaka's Noble Stella to a two-length victory in the grade III, $112,100 Glens Falls Handicap.

Giacomo's First Win Since Derby a Nail-Biter

Giacomo tallied his first victory since capturing the 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at odds of 50-1, closing from far back under regular rider Mike Smith to defeat Preachinatthebar by a head in a rousing finish to the $300,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar Saturday.

Desire to Excel Romps in Astoria at 24-1

Desire to Excel, making her first start since breaking her maiden at first asking back in April, blew away her six rival 2-year-old fillies Sunday to win the $109,500 Astoria by five lengths.

Noble Stella Shows Heart to Win New York BC

Gary A. Tanaka's Noble Stella led at all calls over a soft turf course Saturday afternoon then dug in to hold off late-charging Angara to win the $182,000 New York Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Belmont Park inner turf course by a neck.

Steve Haskin's Derby Analysis: The Crown Awaits

Back in January, before Barbaro had ever run on the dirt, Michael Matz was asked if he knew where the name Barbaro came from. He called to assistant trainer Peter Brette: "Hey, Peter, what does the name Barbaro mean?" Brette didn't hesitate with his answer: "Kentucky Derby winner."

Giacomo '50-50' for Saturday's Strub Stakes

Giacomo, who stunned the racing world with a 50-1 victory in last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), could make his first start in nearly eight months in Saturday's Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park, trainer John Shirreffs said Sunday morning.

Biancone, Pomeroy Set Their Sights on Vosburgh

A field of 10 horses has been drawn for Saturday's 66th running of the Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I). The Patrick Biancone-trained Pomeroy, winner of the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga, looks to add his name to a list of recent Vosburgh stars that includes Pico Central and Ghostzapper.

Don Six the Highweight in Smile Sprint H.

A field of 10 has been drawn for the Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II), part of Saturday's "Summit of Speed" at Calder Race Course. The six-furlong contest carries a rich $500,000 purse. Veteran Don Six, carrying a high impost of 118 pounds, and True North Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) winner Woke Up Dreamin, under 117, head the field.

Six Vie In Competitive Aristides

A field of six sprinters has drawn for Saturday's $150,000 Aristides Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs. Run in honor of the first Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner in 1875, graded stakes winners Battle Won, Bwana Charlie, and Gators N Bears head an even half-dozen going six furlongs over the main track.

Riders Up

By Dan Liebman - A politician wins the primary but is defeated in the general election. A pro football player on a winning Super Bowl team is traded to the worst team in the league. A rider wins the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), and then two weeks later loses the Preakness (gr. I).

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