Talkin' Horses - Live Discussions

Steve Haskin & Mike Smith Jockey

Wednesday May 11, 2005

Join Steve Haskin and his special guest, winning jockey Mike Smith, for a live "morning after" breakdown of Giacomo's stunning victory in Kentucky Derby 131.

Haskin has been a senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse since 1998, he is an award-winning Turf writer renowned for his Kentucky Derby commentary. During his nearly three decades at Daily Racing Form, Haskin made a name with his "Derby Watch" columns.

Mike Smith is the Hall of Fame jockey, who rode Giacomo to a 50-1 upset victory in Saturday’s 131st Kentucky Derby (gr. I). This was the first Kentucky Derby victory for Smith, a two-time Eclipse Award winner who is currently riding at Churchill Downs in Kentucky.

Thanks to everyone for joining us for today’s Talkin’ Horses with Steve Haskin and his special guest, winning Kentucky Derby jockey Mike Smith. Steve is joining us from his home in New Jersey and we’ll also have Mike Smith, who is at Churchill Downs getting ready to ride in the first race. Mike and Steve have answered many of the questions readers have submitted in advance and we’ll post some of those now and continue to take questions during the hour. We greatly appreciate all of the questions. Due to the volume, we’re sorry if we were not able to get to every one. Let’s get started!

Union Bridge, MD:
Mike, how did you originally plan to ride the race, and did it unfold the way you expected it to?

It happened just almost the way I planned it other than getting hung out on the first turn. I’d planned on sitting back and making one big run. And I knew I’d have to go through a lot of traffic, but it all worked out.

Poplar Grove, IL:
Mike - fantastic race! You said Giacomo was your Derby horse from the first time you got on him. What makes a jockey feel so sure so early on? Thanks, Judi.

His balance. The way he carried himself. He felt like a good horse, and he looked a lot like his father. He reminded me of Holy Bull in a lot of ways and I just fell in love with him.

Best of Talkin HorsesTo read the complete transcript of this chat, along with many others, check out Best of Talkiní Horses.

Best of Talkin’ Horses features provocative “chats” with some of Thoroughbred racing’s most prominent names. Adapted from “Talkin’ Horses,” the popular weekly online chat series hosted by, this edited collection provides additional insights by Ron Mitchell, editor and moderator of “Talkin’ Horses."


Editor's Note: moderators retain editorial control over Talkin' Horses discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests; guests may decline to answer questions. Opinions expressed by guests of Talkin' Horses are those of the guest and do not represent the opinions of Blood-Horse Publications, its employees, associates, or affiliated organizations. Guests, dates, and times of Talkin' Horses discussions are subject to change.