Jockey Mike Smith, who rode Justify to a Triple Crown, came to Santa Anita Park on Saturday to do some more racing and sign some autographs. Make that a lot of autographs.
Moments after the gates opened at 10 AM, a huge line formed as fans lined up to get the free Triple Crown poster and autograph from Smith.
HUGE wraparound crowd of fans @santaanitapark today for poster signing with Hall of Famer Mike Smith, jockey of #TripleCrown winner #Justify. pic.twitter.com/1j5ddSj7uB
— Thoroughbred Info (@ThorobredInfo) June 23, 2018
The line is more than 1,000 strong as jockey Mike Smith signs Justify posters at Santa Anita. pic.twitter.com/4d6oCv2bA2
— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) June 23, 2018
They kept coming. Four thousand posters were made and 3,000 people were lined up within minutes. Smith stayed longer to try and accommodate everyone.
THANK YOU for the huge outpouring of fans who came out to our Mike Smith signing this AM, and an equally ginormous thank you to the Hall of Famer for staying on to make sure we got as many of you your signed print as possible! We truly feel like #TheGreatRacePlace today. pic.twitter.com/aGNCSyQb6V
— Santa Anita Park (@santaanitapark) June 23, 2018
“The poster is first class and so is everything about this Triple Crown story,” Santa Anita’s Marketing Vice President Nate Newboy told The Paulick Report. “For this horse to start out here on Feb. 18 and win the Belmont 111 days later is an achievement that’ll likely stand for all-time.”
Fans also got a chance to see Justify, who made an appearance on the track between the fourth and fifth races. Justify is the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown series and at 52, Smith is the oldest rider to accomplish the feat.
Smith, who recently signed for Steiner Sports, will make another appearance at Ruidoso Downs in his home state of New Mexico on July 8, signing posters to raise funds for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
If you weren’t able to get to either event, some of those signed posters (a few including the autograph of trainer Bob Baffert who was also at Santa Anita Saturday) have been listed on eBay.