HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE
|Hawthorne Racecourse (1/15/04)
Contact: Jim Miller
Trainer Jere Smith, Sr. Succumbs to Cancer
STICKNEY, IL -- Longtime Chicago based trainer, Jere Smith, Sr. passed away on Wednesday morning, succumbing to pancreatic cancer. The local favorite was 63 years old.
Smith began his training career in 1955 at the age of 15 and recorded his first win with Polly's Knight that year at Beulah Park. Shifting to Chicago in the mid-1960's, Smith would grab a total of 12 local training titles, winning six at Sportman's (1974-'77, 1993 and 1994), five at Hawthorne (fall 1976, fall 1977, 1992-'94), and one at Arlington Park (1978).
He claimed Recoup the Cash during the 1993 Arlington Meet for $15,000 and went on to earn nearly $700,000 with the gelding in 1994, with wins in the Cicero Mile and National Jockey Club Handicap at Sportsman's, the Stephen Foster at Churchill and the Robert F. Carey Memorial and Hawthorne Gold Cup at Hawthorne.
Smith also trained two-time Illinois Horse of the Year, Chicago Six, another claim that became a graded stakes winner, winning the grade 3 National Jockey Club Handicap at Sportman's Park in 2001.
No funeral arrangements have been announced.