Son of A.P. Smithwick releases his third in trilogy and shares proceeds with Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF)

On Thursday, July 25, the TRF will co-host a cocktail reception, reading, and book signing at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame with author Patrick Smithwick as he launches his new book Racing Time: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Liberation on the occasion of the 22nd running of the running of the Grade 1, $150,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase at Saratoga Racecourse.

The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. and are open to the public. In addition to the book signing and reading by the author, there will be hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. There is no charge for the reception; RSVPs are welcome at

Racing Time, illustrated by the eminent equine artist Sam Robinson, is dedicated to Hall of Fame trainer Tom Voss, Patrick Smithwick’s best friend, who died suddenly in January 2014. Wrote Patrick: “(Voss) pushed me beyond what I thought I could do.”

The name Smithwick is a well-known one in racing and certainly at Saratoga. Smithwick’s father, A.P. “Paddy” Smithwick, was a five-time champion steeplechase jockey during a career that started in 1945 and ended two decades later. Paddy rode mostly for his younger brother, trainer “Mikey” Smithwick, until a fall in a hurdle race at Monmouth Park in 1966 resulted in the end of his riding career. As a jockey, Paddy posted 398 wins and $2 million in earnings. Both Paddy and Mikey Smithwick were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Racing Time is the third memoir in a trilogy by Patrick Smithwick, who wrote about his relationship with his father in his first publication, 2006’s Racing My Father. Six years later, in his award-winning book Flying Change, he wrote about his own return to racing after a 25-year absence.

Smithwick was inspired to partner with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, and to dedicate a percentage of book proceeds to the TRF, following a visit to the foundation’s TRF Second Chances Program in Sykesville Maryland in December 2018. Said Smithwick, “I was profoundly moved by the work of the TRF, and the inspiring impact of the retired racehorses on the men at the Central Maryland Correctional Complex. The TRF is making the world a better place by saving horses and saving lives, and I am proud to link my work to theirs through the Racing Time book launch in Saratoga.”

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About TRF: Founded in 1983, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is a national organization devoted to saving Thoroughbred horses no longer able to compete at the racetrack from possible neglect, abuse, and slaughter. As the oldest Thoroughbred rescue in the country, the TRF provides sanctuary to retired Thoroughbreds throughout their lifetime.

Best known for its pioneering TRF Second Chances program, the organization provides incarcerated individuals with vocational training through its accredited equine care and stable management program. At seven correctional facilities across the country this program offers second careers to its horses and a second chance at life for inmates upon release from prison.

TRF cares for 650 rescued and retired Thoroughbreds at Second Chances prison farms and Sanctuary Farms across the country. The organization is funded entirely by private donations. The TRF is accredited by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and has a Platinum rating with Guide Star.

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About the Author: Patrick Smithwick has won awards for the writing of newspaper features, short stories, and magazine investigative pieces while working at a diverse range of occupations including steeplechase jockey, Chesapeake Bay waterman, newspaper reporter and photographer, magazine writer, and teacher of English and medieval history at schools and colleges. He holds a B.A. and an M.L.A. from Johns Hopkins University, an M.A. from Hollins College, and an EFM (Education in Ministry) from the University of the South. His critically acclaimed Racing My Father (2006) recounts his youth on the racetrack and his love for his father, the legendary Hall of Famer, A. P. “Paddy” Smithwick. Flying Change (2012), recipient of the Dr. Tony Lyons Book Award, relates the challenges of returning to race-riding at the age of fifty. Smithwick lives with his wife Ansley on the farm where he was raised in Monkton, Maryland.

About the Artist: Sam Robinson is a Maryland artist best known for his equestrian sporting paintings. He describes his artistic pursuit as “New American Impressionism.” Sam prefers to work directly from life enjoying the vivid suggestion of appearances through brushwork and color tones. Sam lived in South Korea for most of his childhood where his parents served as missionaries. His earliest art training was in Asian brush painting. On his return to the United States, he studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art, graduating magna cum laude with a BFA in painting in 1978. Sam is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association and the Portrait Society of America, receiving the “Best Portfolio” award twice, a Certificate of Merit in the International Portrait Competition, and an Honorable Mention in the members only Self-Portrait Competition. During the fall and spring, Sam can be seen standing at his easel, paint brush in hand, capturing the spirit of the moment at National Steeplechase hunt meets up and down the East Coast.