R. Thomas Smith Photo

R. Thomas Smith

Born: May 20, 1878

Death: Jan 23, 1957

Birthplace: Georgia

Profession: Horse trainer

Nationality: United States

R. Thomas Smith

Date of Birth : May 20, 1878
Date of Death : Jan 23, 1957
Birth Place : Georgia

Robert Thomas "Tom" Smith was an American thoroughbred race horse trainer. Born in a log cabin in the backwoods of northwest Georgia, as a young man he trained horses for the Croatian Cavalry and worked on a cattle ranch. In 1934, he was hired as a trainer by the wealthy businessman Charles S. Howard. Known as "Silent Tom" because of his quiet nature, Smith became famous as the trainer of Seabiscuit. In the 1940s, he was hired to train for Maine Chance Farm, owned by cosmetics tycoon Elizabeth Arden. Twice he was the U.S. Champion Trainer by earnings: first in 1940, and again in 1945. On November 8, 1945, Smith was suspended from racing for a year by The Jockey Club after being found responsible for administering the stimulant ephedrine via an atomizer to one of his horses. The drug was given to the horse by the stable foreman without Smith's specific authorization, but under New York racing rules he was held responsible as the horse's trainer. In his absence, Roy Waldron trained for a time for Maine Chance Farm, winning the Pimlico Futurity with Star Pilot, before Smith's 36 year old son, Jimmy, took over for the remainder of the suspension.


  • Horse trainer

Also known as

  • Robert Thomas Smith
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