At Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico, in excess of $25,000 was raised for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) thanks to an appearance Sunday by Hall-of-Fame jockey Mike Smith.
New Mexico native and Triple Crown-winning jockey Smith, 52, was at the track for the Mike Smith Victory Celebration signing posters of Justify completing the June Triple Crown with the duo’s Belmont Stakes win.
Autographed posters and other significant contributions raised $21,352 while unsigned posters added $3,740. All proceeds go to the PDJF.
Posters will be available for the remainder of the meet in the gift shop with proceeds going to the PDJF.
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez presented Smith with a New Mexico flag and a proclamation declaring that July 8th will always be Mike Smith Day in New Mexico. Congressman Steve Pearce gave Smith a United States flag that flew over the United States Capitol. New Mexico State Senate President pro tempore Mary Kay Papen presented Smith with a Senate Memorial.
Track handle for its Friday, Saturday and Sunday Quarter Horse cards was up 27 percent over the coinciding days last year.
The PDJF provides financial support for injured riders nationwide.