07/21/2011 2:59PM

Jockey Mike Smith arrested on DUI charges after Del Mar opener

Benoit & Associates
Mike Smith wins the Oceanside aboard Mr. Commons on Wednesday's opening-day card at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith was arrested on charges of DUI Wednesday night by the San Diego Police Department after the opening-day card at Del Mar.

Smith posted $2,500 bond overnight. His court date has been set for Sept. 1.

Smith worked horses early Thursday morning at the track, and said he would ride Thursday afternoon.

“I was driving on my home road down here, which is dark, and I got pulled over, and I blew a little over,” Smith said Thursday afternoon. “It wasn’t like I was going 100 miles per hour, or being reckless. I was going a little over the limit on my home road.”

Smith said the incident occurred around 10 p.m. Wednesday night. He said he had a few glasses of wine following the races, but did not eat much because he was watching his weight, and was headed home.

After posting bond, Smith was at the track very early Thursday, and, among others, worked the top sprinter Amazombie for trainer Bill Spawr.
Smith had two mounts scheduled for Thursday, and said he would be on both.

“Trust me, I’m fine,” he said. “I guess the next step will not be decided until my court date.”

Smith won the opening-day Oceanside Stakes aboard Mr. Commons for trainer John Shirreffs, with whom he teamed with the great mare Zenyatta during her 2010 Horse of the Year campaign.

There was an extensive police presence in communities surrounding Del Mar following the races Wednesday. According to a local television news report, 15 people were arrested for DUI, though it is not known if Smith is included in that number.