American Pharoah

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith returns to New Mexico

Mike Smith became the 12th jockey in history and the only one from New Mexico to win the Triple Crown after flying across the finish line atop 3-year-old Justify in June to a roar of cheers at Belmont Park in New York.

Smith was born in Roswell but forged his love of horse racing while growing up in the farming community of Dexter.

"Winning the Triple Crown with Justify was an amazing feeling," said Smith, who at 52 is the oldest jockey to ride the same horse to wins at the three largest races. "It was a team effort. It takes so much from so many people to accomplish what we did."

Justify's victory came just three years after another horse, ...