Iron Mike Smith Rides Less to Make More
“They still want us,” he said of horse trainers, even if the pair are available less often.
Bob Baffert, Arrogate’s trainer, asserts that for any given race, whether an outing
that involves winless 2-year-olds or a leg in the Triple Crown, “I’d go with Mike Smith.”
Getting him to ride your horse is another thing altogether.
“Those maidens are like draft picks,” said Pegram, his agent.
“Nobody can keep up with Mike,” said a contemporary, Gary Stevens, who has tried.
“His regimen is unbelievable,” said the NBC Sports racing analyst Jerry Bailey,
a retired jockey who is fourth in career winnings, according to Equibase.
Smith is fed a steady diet of favorites or near-favorites in the afternoons: “Nobody puts him on a 20-to-1 shot,” Baffert said.