Hall of Famer Smith tests positive for COVID

Hall of Famer Smith tests positive for COVID
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Jockey Mike Smith tested positive for COVID-19 Friday morning and will not ride at Los Alamitos this weekend. The Hall of Famer had one mount scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday: undefeated Astute in Saturday's $300,000 Starlet (G1) and Proud Emma in Sunday's $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3). 

Smith, who is coming off a solid Del Mar fall meet after a relative slow spell, noted he is asymptomatic.

"I feel great, but just tested positive this morning so can't ride tomorrow," Smith told HRN. "I'll take another one soon and I'm sure all will be good."

Daily Racing Form's Steve Andersen first reported the news. 

Astute, who Smith piloted to two wins from as many starts, will now be ridden by Flavien Prat for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. The daughter of Speightstown is the 7/5 second choice on the morning line behind Bob Baffert's Princess Noor at even money. 

In the Bayakoa, up-and-coming Juan Hernandez will take over in the irons aboard Proud Emma for trainer Peter Miller. The 4-year-old daughter of Include is the 9/2 fifth choice in a six-horse field. 

Smith this season has won at a 19% clip with 47 wins from 254 mounts with purse earnings of $4,685,752. 

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