Mike Smith, the Hall of Fame rider who has handled scores of top horses and won hundreds of major races over a 36-year career that has gone from highlight to highlight, has had another prestigious award added to his resume by being named the 2017 recipient of the Laffit Pincay, Jr. Award. Smith, who will turn 52 next Thursday but shows no signs of slowing down in his remarkable run, becomes the 14th winner of the Pincay Award, given by the Hall of Fame jockey it is named for to those who have served the sport of horse racing “with integrity, extraordinary dedication, determination and distinction.” The honor and its handsome trophy will be presented to Smith by Pincay on Sunday, August 20 between races at Del Mar racetrack following a salute to the rider the night before in downtown Del Mar at Del Mar Plaza that will serve as a fundraiser for the Winners Foundation, which for more than 30 years has aided those in racing adversely affected by substance abuse and/or mental health issues. “When we started this award back in 2004, Mike Smith was absolutely the sort of person we had in mind as one of our winners,” said Pincay in making the announcement. “I only got to ride against him briefly out here, but I’ve followed his career over the years and he’s been a model of consistency, class and pure athletic ability. He’s a star in all senses of the word and it is an honor to honor him.” Pincay retired in 2003 after riding 9,530 winners, most of them accomplished in California. Smith, who made his mark primarily in the east early on, first rode regularly locally starting in 2001. “It is a privilege and a delight for someone like me to [...]
…our new Executive Director of Winners Foundation. Darin arrived at Winners in Spring of 2017 to continue and enhance the good works and services that this Foundation provides. Darin comes to Winners from The High Road Program as the Program Director at the Pasadena location. He has over 30 years in the Counseling arena. Darin is a certified Substance Abuse and Alcohol Counselor, certified as Clinical Supervisor for Drug and Alcohol counseling, is a Certified Recovery Program Manager and is a Facilitator of Anger Management and Batterer’s Treatment Programs. Darin did his training in Pasadena where he attended Pacific Oaks College. Winners Foundation is very lucky and thrilled to have such talent aboard and to be able accommodate additional needs within our race track community. With Darin’s skills, knowledge and experience, he embodies the mission of Winners Foundation: “to provide information, resources and referrals to all of California’s Race Track employees and their families.” Whether it’s the Front Office employees, the Backstretch workers or the C-Suite, Darin makes certain that all employees feel welcome to use Winners Foundation services whenever the “trials of life” intervene. A safe place to relax, a hot cup of coffee, and a chance to talk it out, at Winners Foundation, those things never change. Welcome Darin! We’re glad you’re here!!!