SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- And the new king of Saratoga is . . . Mike Smith.
With one winner on the card, Mike Smith came out on top yesterday after a furious 30-day fight for the Saratoga riding crown with Julie Krone and Angel Cordero.
Smith defeated Krone, who had two winners yesterday, 33-32. Cordero finished with 30 winners; he didn't have a victory on either of the final two cards.
Cordero has won 13 of the last 16 titles but has not won a meet here in two years.
The Saratoga title was the latest accomplishment in New York for Smith, who came to Aqueduct in November 1989 expecting to stay only a few months before success disrupted plans to go to Oaklawn Park. He now has won the last three riding titles in New York, beginning with the spring meet at Aqueduct.
"I'm just so relieved," Smith said. "I've never been so relieved. It was tight. I never had the chance to relax. I'm sure the excitement of it will hit me after the last race, but right now I just want to relax."