Mike Smith may not be fined for excessive use of the riding crop, but he could be fined for excessive use of the Sharpie come Saturday.
That's when the Hall of Fame jockey and regular rider of Triple Crown champion Justify will be signing posters depicting the undefeated colt's sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
The eye-catching, high-quality posters will be free to the first 4,000 in attendance at Santa Anita Saturday while supplies last, and Smith will be available to sign them from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. adjacent to the Kingsbury Fountain in the West Paddock Gardens area.
“It's great stuff,” the 52-year-old Smith said at Clockers' Corner Friday morning, on a rare break from the whirlwind media hoopla that erupted following Justify's victory in the Belmont Stakes on June 9.
“It's been crazy, but it's all good. You hate to leave anyone out, but it seems like everyone wants to see you at the same time. It's all fun; it's all good. I can't complain one bit.”
Smith is well aware that the demand for his presence, like youth, will one day fade away, but he is mature enough to enjoy the ride while he can.
“The requests for your time and participation will eventually come to an end,” he said, “but the memories always will stay with you here (tapping his hand over his heart), and that's all that matters.”
Triple Crown champion Justify will parade through Santa Anita's Paddock Gardens and onto the main track and Winner's Circle between races four and five on Saturday.
The imposing chestnut son of Scat Daddy will be accompanied in the Winner's Circle by his trainer, Bob Baffert, and his jockey, Mike Smith, who will be available to credentialed media.
Approximate post time for Saturday's fourth race is 1:36 p.m. Pacific Time.
There will be an early first post time of 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m.
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