Horse Racing - Smith follows Stevens in rolling back the years

Older American jockeys are currently enjoying something of a renaissance, with Gary Stevens winning the Preakness Stakes three weeks ago and Mike Smith claiming victory in Saturday's Belmont Stakes.

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Horse Racing - Smith follows Stevens in rolling back the years
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Jockey Mike Smith after winning the Belmont Stakes aboard Palace Malice (AFP)

Both wins came against all expectations and both were achieved in some style.

Nineteen months younger than Stevens, Smith, 48, notched up a second title at Belmont Park, three years after the first, to bring himself a little closer to his elder, who has three wins to his name.

On Palace Malice, Smith was one of the front runners in the 145th Belmont Stakes, along with Frac Daddy, Revolutionary and Freedom Child.

That was where Oxbow and Orb came into the equation, even though the latter stayed in the background, despite having dominated the Kentucky Derby in similar weather conditions.

On the home straight, Palace Malice left his opponents with no chance, giving his trainer, Todd Pletcher, a first win since 2007, when the filly Rags to Riches won this event for him.

He is also the third different horse to win a Triple Crown event in 2013, leaving fans still waiting for a successor to Alleged, the last winner of the Triple Crown, back in 1978.

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