09/02/2011 12:10PM

Smith pleads not guilty in Del Mar DUI case


DEL MAR, Calif. – Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has entered a plea of not guilty to misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence stemming from his arrest the evening of July 20, opening day at Del Mar.

According to the Associated Press, Smith entered his plea on Thursday via his attorney at the courthouse business office in downtown San Diego. Because the case is a misdemeanor, Smith was not required to be present. He has been free since posting bail of $2,500 in the early morning hours of July 21.

The next step in the case is a readiness conference on Oct. 14 in San Diego. Also known as a pre-trial conference, a readiness conference gives both sides – in this case the city and Smith – the opportunity to settle a case before going to trial. Smith must be present for that conference. If there is no resolution at that conference, a trial date could be set by the presiding judge.

Smith, 45, was arrested July 20 by the San Diego police department while driving in a residential area near where he is living this summer. He had been at a restaurant shortly before the arrest, and admitted to having had a few glasses of wine following that day’s races. Smith won the opening-day Oceanside Stakes aboard Mr. Commons.