Mike Smith honored in New Mexico for winning Triple Crown | KOB 4
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Mike Smith honored in New Mexico for winning Triple Crown

Casey Torres
July 08, 2018 10:51 PM

RUIDOSO DOWNS, N.M. - It’s a feat only 13 jockeys have accomplished. Mike Smith, a New Mexico native, made the list of riders who came in first at the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. On Sunday, Mike Smith was honored at the Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino for his accomplishments.

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Smith is the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown. He's 52-years-old.

Today, his name is everywhere, but before his rise to fame, he started his career in his hometown of Dexter, N.M. at the age of 12.

“I just had a passion for horses you know. I’ve always ridden since the time I could remember and was always competitive in school and wanted to certainly compete and horses was something I could do,” Smith said.

Governor Susana Martinez has proclaimed July 8 as “Mike E. Smith Day.”

Congressman Steve Pearce recognized Smith at racetrack’s winner’s circle.

“It’s incredible to know that from now on, this day is “Mike E. Smith Day.” I hope that means I can let everyone off of work or something kind of cool like that,” Smith goes on to say. “But it’s just an unbelievable honor. It’s just very emotional.”

After the celebration, Smith met his fans and signed posters with all the proceeds going towards the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund.

Smith said he doesn’t plan on retiring soon because he still has a lot left in him.

“Why not? I mean what else am I gonna do if I don’t ride? It’s all I’ve done since I could remember, so I can’t imagine not doing it, so I’m gonna do it as long as I can,” Smith said.

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Casey Torres

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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