Kentucky Derby: Hamilton Smith still going unnoticed

Maryland-based trainer of Done Talking soaking in Kentucky Derby experience

May 04, 2012|By Chris Korman

Hamilton Smith’s brother, Franklin, came out to the track at Churchill Downs to see two horses he knows well

Franklin, who breaks about 150 horses each year, turned both Dulluhan, trained by Dale Romans, and Done Talking, trained by Hamilton Smith, into race horses at his South Carolina training facility.

“It’s good to see them here,” he said. “I can remember having them back then, and even then, they were ahead of the group. It’s good for them to be together like that. They buddy up, get more athletic and active that way, just like kids.”

Training lasted only until 8 a.m. Friday, as the track needed to be prepared for a day of racing. The 11th is the 138th Kentucky Oaks, featuring the top 3-year-old fillies in the country. Other thoughts on that race, which will attract 100,000 fans on a remarkably beautiful day, ran in today’s paper.

Done Talking fared well galloping under usual exercise rider Bo-Bo Brigman, and even tried to break when he got to the front of the track. A 50-1 shot, few are talking about Done Talking.

At one point Friday morning, Hamilton Smith was trying to work out logistics for tomorrow because he’s been asked to do an interview atop the grandstand at about 2 p.m. Unsure of how he’d get over there, he was informed that a golf-cart ride could be provided for him. Such a ride, he was told, has been available to him all week.

“That so?” he said. “Nobody said that to be. But nobody knows who I am, where I am or anything else.”

Not that he really minds. Smith has worked in relative anonymity at Laurel Park, but Franklin believes he is every bit as talented as any trainer here this week.

“There’s never been any question whether he could do it,” Franklin Smith said. “The question has always been whether he’d get the horse. Just like the question in a big race is whether you get the luck.”

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