Tom Smith (horse trainer)
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Tom Smith with Seabiscuit
May 20, 1878|
|Died||January 23, 1957(aged 78)|
|Career wins||Not found|
|Major racing wins|
Bay Meadows Handicap (1937, 1938)
Kentucky Derby (1947)
|U.S. Champion Thoroughbred Trainer by earnings (1940, 1945)|
|National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (2001)
Washington Racing Hall of Fame (2003)
|Kayak II, Seabiscuit, Beaugay, Star Pilot, Jet Pilot|
Robert Thomas "Tom" Smith (May 20, 1878 – January 23, 1957) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse trainer. Born in a log cabin in the backwoods of northwest Georgia, as a young man he trained horses for the Croatian Cavalry and worked on a cattle ranch. In 1934, he was hired as a trainer by the wealthy businessman Charles S. Howard.
Known as "Silent Tom" because of his quiet nature, Smith became famous as the trainer of Seabiscuit. In the 1940s, he was hired to train for Maine Chance Farm, owned by cosmetics tycoon Elizabeth Arden. Twice he was the U.S. Champion Trainer by earnings: first in 1940, and again in 1945.
On November 8, 1945, Smith was suspended from racing for a year by The Jockey Club after being found responsible for administering the stimulant ephedrine via an atomizer to one of his horses. The drug was given to the horse by the stable foreman without Smith's specific authorization, but under New York racing rules he was held responsible as the horse's trainer.
In his absence, Roy Waldron trained for a time for Maine Chance Farm, winning the Pimlico Futurity with Star Pilot, before Smith's 36-year-old son, Jimmy, took over for the remainder of the suspension.
Smith retired from racing in 1955, having trained 29 graded stakes race winners. He died two years later in Glendale, California, and was buried there in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Sunrise Slope, Lot 6121, Space 4.
In 2000, Smith was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and was inducted in 2001. His life's story was told by author Laura Hillenbrand's bestselling 2001 book Seabiscuit: An American Legend.
- Washington Racing Hall of Fame
- December 3, 1945 TIME magazine article on Tom Smith's suspension titled At the Hop
- Tom Smith at the United States' National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame