Photo: Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders’ Cup Ltd.
Mike Smith, the all-time leading jockey by Breeders’ Cup wins and earnings, returned to the winners’ circle three times during the 2016 Breeders’ Cup and was named Shuffle Bean Coffee Jockey of the Week for October 31 – November 6, 2016. 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.
Mike Smith won his fourth Breeders’ Cup Classic aboard the Bob Baffert-trained Arrogate, defeating heavy favorite California Chrome by half a length at the wire at Santa Anita on Saturday. It was his third Breeders’ Cup win of the weekend, as he also guided Tamarkuz to a victory in Friday’s Dirt Mile and Finest City to a win in the Filly and Mare Sprint earlier on the Saturday card.
Smith’s Classic win was revenge for his own upset loss on Friday aboard Songbird, who dueled with three-time Champion Beholder before conceding the Breeder’s Cup Distaff in a photo finish.
With three victories and three second-place finishes, Smith pushed his total Breeders’ Cup wins to 25, more than any other jockey. His success also earned him the Bill Shoemaker award as the most outstanding jockey of the Breeders’ Cup. Smith had previously won the award in 2012 and 2013.
Last week, Smith led the North American riding colony in both total earnings and stakes earnings. The two-time Eclipse award winner and Hall of Fame inductee is currently ranked eighth among North American jockeys by earnings this year, pushing his total to $12,791,321 in 289 starts in 2016.
JockeyTalk360.com spotlights the riders across North America and around the world who may be the bravest, toughest and most accomplished of all athletes. The Shuffle Bean Coffee Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of America’s Best Racing, The Daily Racing Form, Equibase, Horse Racing Nation, The Jockeys’ Guild, The Paulick Report, The Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and Turf Publicists of America.