11/12/2009 12:00AM

Q&A: Mike Smith

Barbara D. Livingston
"Every answer to every question is going to be, 'Zenyatta.'"

Hall of Fame jockey rode Zenyatta to her 14th straight win in last Saturday's Breeders' Cup.

Birthdate: Aug. 10, 1965, in Roswell, N.M.

Family: Single.

Got into racing because: "It's been a dream of mine since I can remember. I can't remember wanting to do anything else. My father was a jockey and then galloped horses, my uncle trained, and my grandparents owned horses. I had them since I was child."

Childhood hero: "Elvis Presley."

First job: "We lived on a farm. I had to feed the chickens and cows and pigs."

Best horse seen: "Zenyatta."

Best horse ridden: "Zenyatta. Every answer to every question is going to be, 'Zenyatta.'"

Greatest career moment: "Last Saturday. It was the most pressure situation I'd ever been in. It was different than the Kentucky Derby. I had to do this. We had to pull this off. It was a must. I couldn't let her get beat. I can let her go now. This made it easier. You can't replace her. Imagine coming to the barn, and she's not there. Doing what we did Saturday made it okay."

What was it like . . .: "Zenyatta." [laughing]

. . . coming back to the winner's circle? "It was just incredible to hear the crowd. Everyone was on their feet in the whole place. It was just amazing. Electrifying."

Toughest opponents: "I respect everyone who wears those white pants. If they have more horse than you, that's who I worry about."

Favorite thing to do outside racing: "I like physical fitness. I like working out. I like going to the gym or hiking near Mount Wilson."

Favorite athlete outside racing: "Michael Jordan will always be my favorite."

Favorite food: "I love all types, but I'm a steak eater."

Favorite ice cream: "Vanilla."

Favorite movie: "The one I went to the most when I was a kid was 'Grease.' I must have seen it six to eight times."

Last movie seen: "I just saw 'This Is It,' the Michael Jackson movie. He was an amazing talent. Way beyond his times."

Favorite music: "I love all music. I really like music a lot. I listen to country the most, though."

Last book read: "I'm reading a book right now called 'The Complete Guide to the Bible,' by Stephen M. Miller."

Future ambition: "I always dreamed I was going to win a Triple Crown. It's waiting for me."