Mike E. Smith Biography – Twenty-Seven Times Breeders’ Cup Winner

  • 5 MIN READ
Mike E. Smith Bio

Mike E. Smith is a renowned horse jockey. Image Source: Social Media.

Mike E. Smith is one of the most prominent Thoroughbred horse jockeys in the world who has won the highest number of Breeders’ Cups in history. He became the oldest jockey in the world to win a major title in horse racing at 52 in 2018.

The veteran racer boasts 5,623 wins and collected ten American Classics titles, including two Kentucky Derby and three Belmont Stakes. Smith has taken his status to a grand height with some of the best racing records.

However, many still don’t know much about Mike E. Smith’s life. So, let’s talk about the athlete’s career, family, wife, and net worth.

His Parents Divorced When He Was Little

Mike was born Michael Earl Smith to American parents George Smith and Vidoll Vallejos on August 10, 1965, in New Mexico, USA. Vidoll was only nineteen years old when she gave birth to Mike.

Mike E. Smith’s father, George, and mother, Vidoll, met each other in their high school in Dexter and married very early. However, the love story did not turn out well, as they divorced before Mike had turned eight.

It was tough for the young guy as he did not understand the complete picture of his parents’ divorce. He was then shifted to his maternal grandparents’ home. So, with George’s presence being very little in Smith’s life, his grandparents raised him along with his mom, Vidoll.

Smith’s interest in horse racing gradually increased after spending a lot of time on his grandparents’ farm. They trained horses on a farm and his uncle, Thomas Vallejos, began teaching him the ins and outs of the sports.

Mike E. Smith Family
Mike E. Smith’s parents divorced when he was little. Image Source: Mike E. Smith’s Twitter.

Mike was only eleven when he started racing and got his jockey license at sixteen. He dropped out of Dexter High School in ninth grade.

After that, the horse racer started riding in the Mid-Western circuit, and he took part in races at Hawthorne Race Course, Ak-Sar-Ben, and Oaklawn Park Track in cities like Chicago, Omaha, and Arkansas. Mike later moved to Southern California in 2000.

Mike E. Smith Net Worth – $10 Million

Since he was a little boy, Mike has pursued his interest in horse racing and won many trophies and honors. So, his income primarily consists of his earnings as a horse jockey.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Mike E. Smith’s net worth is estimated to be $10 million.

The jockey has won the American Classics title a total of ten times. The best of his career came in 2018, as he bagged four Classics titles. Furthermore, Smith first won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes that year before winning the United States Triple Crown, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. Most of his horses were trained by famous horse trainers such as Bob Baffert and Todd A. Pletcher.

Having won twenty-seven titles, the New Mexico native has the highest number of Breeders’ Cup wins. Also, he is the only player to win four back-to-back Breeders’ Cup events from 1992 to 1995.

The racer won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff five times and the Classic title twice. His other Breeders’ Cup titles include Juvenile Fillies, Turf Sprint, Marathon, Juvenile Turf, Filly and Mare Sprint, and Dirt Mile from 2008 to 2017.

Having won numerous racing events, let’s take a look at Mike E. Smith’s earnings:

Year Earnings Per Start
2021 $4,802,310 $26,386
2020 $5,098,214 $19,239
2019 $10,114,463 $36,780
2018 $11,892,761 $48,345
2017 $20,540,871 $74,694

Table Source: Equibase

Mike has also won the ESPY Award for Top US Jockey twice in 1994 and 2019 and the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 1993 and 1994. He was also honored with Mike Venezia Memorial Award for his ‘extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship’ in 1994.

With all these wins, it’s reasonable that Mike E. Smith’s net worth is $10 million. According to Equibase, his racing horses have earned more than $339 million.

Also Read: More About Jockey Brian Joseph Hernandez

Is Mike E. Smith Married?

Yes, Mike is currently married to his spouse Cynthia Naanouh. The pair wedded in a private ceremony at the St. Rita’s Catholic Church in June 2019.

The information about Mike E. Smith’s wife, Cynthia, is pretty scarce, but the couple has been seen together in public a few times. However, this isn’t the only relationship Mike has had.

The jockey was previously married to Patrice Lively, the daughter of retired American Thoroughbred jockey John L. Lively, for fourteen years. Unfortunately, the marriage ended in a divorce, after which Mike started dating fellow jockey Chantal Sutherland.

Mike E. Smith's Ex-Girlfriend Chantal Sutherland
Mike E. Smith previously dated fellow jockey Chantal Sutherland. Image Source: Social Media.

Mike E. Smith’s ex-girlfriend, Chantal, was pretty vocal about dating him in the media.

However, Smith and Sutherland ended their relationship in 2010. They were scheduled to race against one another a few weeks after. The reason behind the separation has not been revealed yet.

After several heartbreaks, the jockey has found solace with his current partner, Cynthia. She seems to be enjoying a good life with him. However, despite being married twice, Mike is yet to have a children.

So, let’s hope Mike can keep getting tremendous results and stay happy with his beloved.