Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith is #1 in Breeder's Cup wins (26) and purse earnings ($36,634,605). The first one came in 1992 aboard LURE in the Breeder's Cup Mile, and the last one in 2017 riding CALEDONIA ROAD in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies. What are Mike Smith's plans this year?
I reached out to Mike to find out. Mike told me via voicemail that he believes he is in at least two races right now. He will either ride CORNICHE or PINEHURST in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile.
"Just waiting to see how they train," is what Mike told me.
Remember when we had Mike on our The Player's Edge Podcast? If not, then you can catch-up by listening here.
"...a horse will run on a track like it
trains on that particular track." — Mike Smith
Both of PINEHURST's wins came at Del Mar, the site of the 2021 Breeders' Cup. And one of the two CORNICHE wins came at Del Mar, while the other came at Santa Anita. Both are an undefeated 2 for 2. Both horses like to get out in front and go.
I think CORNICHE is the standout out of the two, as he has yet to be challenged and looks like he has a lot more to offer. He may very well be the morning-line favorite in the Juvenile. or at least the second choice behind JACK CHRISTOPHER. This is what Mike Smith had to say about CORNICHE: "Love him. Could be champion".
PINEHURST is not a bad option as well, as he has also been very impressive.
The other race Mike Smith believes he will ride in is the Breeder's Cup Classic. He said: "Good, good chance I ride ART COLLECTOR as long as ESSENTIAL QUALITY runs. If both are in the pre-entries, I believe I will ride him."
If ESSENTIAL QUALITY doesn't race for whatever reason, that opens the door for Luis Saez. The regular rider of Essential Quality has ridden ART COLLECTOR before and most likely would get the call if ESSENTIAL QUALITY doesn't run.
My personal opinion is ART COLLECTOR has no real chance against horses like ESSENTIAL QUALITY and KNICKS GO. As always, however, we wish Mike Smith and the connections the best of luck. It's been a great career for Mike Smith. It would be nice for him to be able to get a couple more signature wins before he calls it a career, as he's just one win away from being tied for No. 1 with Chris McCarron and Jerry Bailey in the Classic category.
Mike Smith and a lot of the other jockeys involved in the Breeders' Cup this year will find out more info as we get closer, maybe as early as next week. As always, check back here as we will have the latest news and will get you ready for the 2021 Breeders' Cup that takes place Friday November 5th and Saturday November 6th at Del Mar.
Source: Paulick Report, DMTC