Jockey Journal 1: Mike Smith

- -

Mike Smith opens his first Xpressbet Jockey Journal with thoughts on his ‘Super Saturday’ at Belmont Park, where he rode Royal Delta, Little Mike and Palace Malice in stakes races.

On Royal Delta’s second-place finish in Belmont’s Beldame Stakes (September 28)
Royal Delta ran well. It wasn’t her best race she’s run. She didn’t run her A race, but she ran well; she got beat by a nice filly. She should get a lot out of it. The next one is the one we want. We might have lost the battle but we have the big war ahead of us. We’ll see what happens, brother.
You can’t keep her wound up that tight the whole summer and expect to have her like that way at the very end of the year. She’ll be ready when it’s time, 110 percent ready.
I wouldn’t have done anything different, that other filly just beat us. I know when she runs her A race and that’s what I’m looking for Breeders’ Cup Day.

On Little Mike’s win in Belmont’s Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes (September 28)
It was great to see Little Mike get back into form. Hopefully it’s an indication that he’s back and he’s back at the right time. It looks like he’s bounced back to his best form, like he was last year.
I had never been on him. I had seen him run. I thought it would set up like the Breeders’ Cup last year, and it did. He relaxed well and held on, beat a great bunch of horses. That’s probably the Breeders’ Cup field, add in a few European horses. That’s what I was hoping for, that’s what I was expecting. You know he’s capable of running those kinds of races. He loved Santa Anita last year. Loved the firm ground.

On Palace Malice’s second-place finish in Belmont’s Jockey Club Gold Cup (September 28)
I thought Palace Malice ran well. He runs hard every time. It’s a shame he stumbled in the Travers, it would have been interesting to see what happened. He sure ran awful well after that day.

Mike Smith’s complete Jockey Journal #1.