Jockey Bios

Mike Smith

Born: August 10, 1965 in Roswell, N.M.

Record at Keeneland

Total Wins: 135

Stakes Wins: 29

Career Firsts

First Grade 1 Win: 1990 Wood Memorial Invitational at Aqueduct on Thirty Six Red

First Stakes Win: 1982 Texas Derby at Sunland Park on Court Compliance

First Graded Stakes Win: 1987 Board of Governors' Handicap (G3) at Ak-Sar-Ben on Lyphard's Ridge

First Career Win: June 12, 1982, at Santa Fe Downs on Forever Man

At Keeneland

29 stakes wins include the 2015 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) aboard Songbird.

Rode first Keeneland winner during the 1985 Fall Meet.

First Keeneland stakes win was the 1987 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup aboard Exclusive Enough.

Won the Blue Grass (G2) in 1993 with Prairie Bayou and 1994 with Holy Bull.

Leading rider at Keeneland in the 1994 Spring Meet.

Has Grade 1 wins in the Central Bank Ashland on Inside Information (1994), Glitter Woman (1997) and Emollient (2013); Juddmonte Spinster on Inside Information (1995) and Emollient (2013); and Abu Dhabi First Lady on Proviso (GB) (2010).

Rode No Nay Never to win the Woodford (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select during the 2014 Fall Meet.


North American career earnings exceed $307 million with 5,440 wins through January 30, 2018. Second all time by earnings (behind John Velazquez) among jockeys.

Inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.

Won the Eclipse Award as outstanding jockey in 1993 and 1994

Triple Crown wins (4): 2005 Kentucky Derby (G1) on Giacomo; 1993 Preakness (G1) with Prairie Bayou; Belmont (G1) on Drosselmeyer (2010) and Palace Malice (2013).

Record Breeders' Cup wins (26): 1992 Mile (Lure); 1994 Mile (Lure), Turf (Tikkanen) and Sprint (Cherokee Run); 1995 Distaff (Inside Information) and Juvenile (Unbridled's Song); 1997 Classic (Skip Away) and Distaff (Ajina); 2002 Juvenile (Vindication) and Distaff (Azeri); 2008 Distaff (Zenyatta) and Juvenile Fillies (Stardom Bound); 2009 Classic (Zenyatta); 2011 Classic (Drosselmeyer) and Sprint (Amazombie); 2012 Turf Sprint (Mizdirection) and Ladies' Classic (Royal Delta); 2013 Juvenile Turf (Outstrip-GB), Marathon (London Bridge) and Turf Sprint (Mizdirection); 2014 Filly and Mare Sprint (Judy the Beauty); 2015 Juvenile Fillies (Songbird); 2016 Classic (Arrogate), Dirt Mile (Tamarkuz) and Filly and Mare Sprint (Finest City); 2017 Juvenile Fillies (Caledonia Road).

All-time leading jockey of the Breeders' Cup World Championships by wins (26) and earnings ($35,874,605).

2017 earnings were a career-best $20,540,871 with 70 wins, including the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) aboard champion Arrogate; 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) with Caledonia Road; and Kentucky Oaks (G1) with Abel Tasman.

2016 earnings were $13,607,350 with 55 wins, including three Breeders’ Cup races (Classic on Arrogate, Filly and Mare Sprint on Finest City and Dirt Mile on Tamarkuz). Rode Arrogate to win Travers (G1) and won Grade 1 Alabama, Coaching Club American Oaks, Cotillion, Santa Anita Oaks and the CashCall Futurity. 

2015 earnings of $10,388,870 with 70 wins, including Grade 1 wins in the Santa Anita Handicap with Shared Belief, Vanity with My Sweet Addiction, Eddie Read with Gabriel Charles, Del Mar Debutante and Chandelier with Songbird, Clark on Effinex, Starlet with Street Fancy and La Brea with Birdatthewire.

2014 earnings were $14,493,493 with 114 wins. Rode Shared Belief to win the Grade 1 TVG Pacific Classic, Awesome Again and Malibu and Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby.


The son of a jockey, Mike Smith was 11 when he began riding races in his native New Mexico to launch his Hall of Fame career. He took out a jockey's license at age 16 in 1982 and left New Mexico the following year, riding mostly in the Midwest. He earned his apprenticeship at Canterbury in Minnesota before moving to New York in 1989.

Mike's career accomplishments include being the leading rider at Keeneland during the 1994 Spring Meet. Now based in Southern California, he has made limited appearances at Keeneland in recent years but has been highly successful in stakes competition.