SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Hall of Fame jockey accused of driving drunk hours after winning the opening-day stakes at this summer's Del Mar thoroughbred racing season pleaded not guilty Thursday to misdemeanor DUI charges.
Michael Earl Smith entered his plea via his attorney at the downtown courthouse business office. Because it is a misdemeanor case, he was not required to be present for the arraignment.
Smith, who is out of custody on $2,500 bail, has a readiness conference scheduled for Oct. 14.
Police arrested Smith shortly before 11:30 p.m. on July 20 in the 13900 block of Via Abertura, near Carmel Valley Road.
The 45-year-old Pasadena resident's 2011 Land Rover allegedly was weaving while passing through the area at very slow speed, prompting a patrol officer to pull Smith over on suspicion of DUI, said San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown. The jockey had left a restaurant a short time earlier.
On July 20, the opening day of the 72nd summer season of thoroughbred racing in Del Mar, Smith rode favorite Mr. Commons to victory in the featured $112,100 Oceanside Stakes in front of a crowd judged to be the largest in the oceanfront track's 74-year history.
Smith, a 2003 inductee in the horse racing Hall of Fame, has won 10 American Classic and Breeders' Cup races, including the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes, according to the Keeneland thoroughbred racing agency.
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