R. Thomas Smith

R. Thomas Smith

Horseracing personalities infobox
name = Tom Smith

caption =
occupation = Trainer
birthplace = Georgia, U.S.
birth date = May 20, 1878
death date = January 23, 1957
career wins = 29 Stakes winners
race = Bay Meadows Handicap (1937, 1938)
Brooklyn Handicap (1937)
Massachusetts Handicap (1937)
Agua Caliente Handicap (1938)
Havre de Grace Handicap (1938)
Hollywood Gold Cup (1938, 1939)
Pimlico Special Match Race (1938)
Santa Anita Handicap (1939, 1940)
American Derby (1940)
Santa Anita Derby (1941)
Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes (1945)
Beldame Stakes (1945)
Belmont Futurity Stakes (1945)
Hopeful Stakes (1945)
Matron Stakes (1945)
Jamaica Handicap (1947)

American Classic Race wins:
Kentucky Derby (1947)
awards = U.S. Champion Thoroughbred Trainer by earnings (1940, 1945)
honours = National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (2001)
Washington Racing Hall of Fame (2003)
horses = Kayak II, Seabiscuit, Beaugay, Star Pilot, Jet Pilot
updated = August 20, 2008

Robert Thomas "Tom" Smith (May 20, 1878 - January 23, 1957) was an American thoroughbred race horse trainer. Born in a log cabin in the backwoods of northwest Georgia, as a young man he trained horses for the United States Cavalry and worked on a cattle ranch. In 1934, he got a job with the wealthy businessman Charles S. Howard who owned the racehorse, Seabiscuit.

Known as "Silent Tom," because of his quiet nature, Smith would become 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, the first in 1940 then 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.

When his suspension was over, Smith returned to Maine Chance Farm where he trained the 1947 Kentucky Derby winner, Jet Pilot.

Tom 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 2000, Smith was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and inducted in 2001. His life's story was told by author Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling 2001 book, "".

Smith was played by Academy Award winning actor Chris Cooper in the 2003 film Seabiscuit.


* [http://www.washingtonthoroughbred.com/WaTbStats/HOF_Smith.htm Washington Racing Hall of Fame]
* [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,852519,00.html?promoid=googlep December 3, 1945 "TIME" magazine article on Tom Smith's suspension titled "At the Hop"]
* [http://www.racingmuseum.org/hall/trainer.asp?ID=361 Tom Smith at the United States' National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame]

External links


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