With a sweep of both Grade 1 races offered last week, Mike Smith was named the Foundation Detox Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for September 17 – 23, 2018. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America. Jockey of the Week is sponsored by FoundationDetox.com, America’s #1 Equine Toxin Remover.
Smith won the only two Grade 1 events of the week, both at Parx. The feature race of the weekend was the $1,000,000 Pennsylvania Derby (G1), where Smith would ride McKinzie in the colt’s first start since March. Despite the layoff, the duo was favored in the field of nine. Smith and McKinzie ($6.00) sat near the pace early, picked up the lead, and drew off to defeat Axelrod and Joe Bravo by nearly two lengths.
It was the second consecutive year that Smith visited the Parx winner’s circle in the Pennsylvania Derby; last year, Smith teamed up with Bob Baffert to win on West Coast.
The Pennsylvania Derby completed the stakes double for Smith, who also won the $1,000,000 Cotillion Stakes (G1) in the previous race. Unlike the Pennsylvania Derby, the Cotillion victory involved some controversy as Smith and Midnight Bisou ($10.40) won via the disqualification of Monomoy Girl. The 2018 Kentucky Oaks winner drifted repeatedly in the stretch before reaching the wire a neck in front of Midnight Bisou.
Smith has won the Cotillion multiple times. His most recent prior Cotillion victory was in 2016 aboard Songbird.
Earlier on the card, Smith also competed in the Pennsylvania Derby Champion Stakes, finishing fourth aboard Collected, and ran fifth in the Alphabet Soup Stakes with Flashy Kyem.
Smith led all North American jockeys by both total earnings and by stakes earnings, with $1,130,000 earned in his four stakes appearances. He has amassed over $316 million in his career, including $10,874,999 in 2018 alone.
The two-time winner of the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey won two of his four mounts last week for win and in the money rates of 50%. He has won 41 of his 179 starts in 2018 and is 5,478 for 33,164 lifetime.
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