Jockey arrested after opening day races
Michael Smith (Facebook.com )
San Diego Police Department booked 45-year-old Michael Earl Smith around 1:30 a.m. after police arrested him for alleged DUI near the 13900 block of Via Abertura in Torrey Highlands, near Carmel Valley Road, SDPD Lt. Andra Brown said.
The Pasadena resident's 2011 Land Rover allegedly was weaving while passing through the area at a very slow speed, prompting a patrol officer to pull Smith over on suspicion of DUI, Brown said. The jockey said he had left a restaurant a short time earlier.
The 5-foot, 4-inch jockey was released on $2,500 bail at San Diego Central Jail and has a court date set for September 1 in downtown San Diego.
On Wednesday, the opening day of the 72nd summer season of thoroughbred racing in Del Mar, Smith rode favorite Mr. Commons to victory in the featured $112,100 Oceanside Stakes in front of a crowd deemed to be the largest in the oceanfront track's 74-year history.
Smith, a 2003 inductee in the horse-racing Hall of Fame, has won 10 American Classic and Breeders' Cup races, including the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes, according to the Keeneland thoroughbred racing agency.
San Diego County sheriff's deputies, along with police from San Diego, Oceanside and other local cities, stopped a total of 349 motorists near the track between 3 p.m. Wednesday and midnight, according to the sheriff's Lt. Jose Sanchez.
In addition to the 15 arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, two were arrested on suspicion of drug possession and four were arrested for driving with a suspended license, Sanchez said.
Also, 35 citations were issued for various traffic violations and 14 vehicles were impounded during the operation, the lieutenant said.
An estimated 40,000 race fans flocked to Del Mar Wednesday to kick off the 72nd season of horse racing at the Del Mar Racetrack. Races are scheduled Wednesdays through Sundays through September 7th.