Two brothers with racing running through their veins will have a chance to make history on Saturday in the richest race in Western Canada.
Family roots run deep with thoroughbred pride for Craig and Steve Smith. They are generation horsemen, with experience and savvy far beyond their years. Growing up as students of the sport, watching their parents train horses, both boys were more than gently encouraged to find another profession, far beyond the reaches of the track.
The attraction was just too strong to deny, and perhaps as more of a respectful tribute to their parents than a blatant disregard of their wishes, they both decided to pursue their passion in the industry.
One brother, seemingly always serious and the other, seemingly never serious. One with his formal training in veterinary medicine, the other, graduating through the racetrack ranks in a hands-on practical training program.
Dr. Steve portrays a quiet confidence, he is an astute student of the game in every regard, with a demure nature and a shy personality at first glance. Steve is a devoted husband and doting father and revered as a gifted veterinarian. Little brother Craig, perhaps a little less reserved in nature, boasts a larger than life personality, a colorful reputation and a quick-witted humour that endears him to all that he’s met. Craig is a well-rounded horseman with amazing insight, a bright business mind and a talent for galloping even the most testing thoroughbreds. The perfect partnership.
In a few shorts years this hard working and diverse young duo has successfully helped to spearhead a new breed of business in horse racing. Thoroughbred trainers today have to focus on much more than their training charts. It’s a new generation of business builders, branding and social media that few have began to embrace.
The Smith brothers have quickly become respected authorities in the industry in their respective disciplines, each bringing their own strengths to their partnership. 2015 Derby contender, Aztec Key, represents this amazing brotherhood. Dr. Steve takes care of the colt from the ground up, Craig, guides the colt from above, on horseback. Both working together to achieve their dream of derby glory.
Admirable in their pursuit of a brighter future for the sport that they love, they continue to be diligent advocates for horse racing in Alberta. Craig and Steve are both active in the political arena of our industry as members of the HBPA alongside step dad Rod Cone. Mother, father, and stepfather, are all esteemed veterans of the training world with a wealth of experience and expertise. Cone trained Canadian Derby winning champion, A Fleets Dancer, to a storied victory in 1998, and the boys would like nothing more than to add another victory to the families repertoire.