George E. Smith

Millionaire + Smith
Born Jul 13, 1862

George Elsworth Smith was an American gambler and Thoroughbred horse racing enthusiast who became a multi-millionaire during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Smith was given the nickname "Pittsburgh Phil" in 1885 by Chicago gambler William "Silver Bill" Riley to differentiate him from the other Smiths that also frequented Riley's pool halls.… Read More

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1862 Birth George Elsworth Smith was born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania in 1862 to Elizabeth ("Eliza") and Christian Smith. … Read More
1872 9 Years Old The Smith family initially lived on a small farm in Sewickley, Pennsylvania but moved in 1872 to Allegheny City when George Smith was 10 years old. … Read More


1879 16 Years Old …  In the fall of 1879, Smith placed his first bet on a 5:1 odds horse named Gabriel running in a race at the Brighton Beach racetrack at Coney Island. … Read More


By 1885, Smith had become one of the most touted gamblers in Pittsburgh and had won over $100,000 without ever seeing a horse race run firsthand. … Read More
1890 27 Years Old Smith purchased King Cadmus as a yearling in 1890 for $4,000 at the stable dispersal sale of the late August Belmont. … Read More
1891 28 Years Old The first win occurred on September 3, 1891 at Sheepshead Bay Race Track and resulted in Smith winning approximately $115,000, which was the largest payout from a horse race recorded in the US at that time.
Cadmus' other win occurred at Morris Park Racetrack in 1892 with Smith netting another $80,000.


1895 32 Years Old 1 More Event
Smith employed several jockeys on a race-to-race basis during his career as a Thoroughbred owner, including Henry "Skeets" Martin, Fred Taral, Edward R. Garrison and Sam Doggett. However, Smith considered Tod Sloan to be the best jockey in his employ and commissioned the rider to race in only his colors from 1895 to 1897.
1896 - 1897 2 More Events
1899 36 Years Old 1 More Event
After Sloan's departure, Smith used Skeets Martin as his principal jockey, but in 1899 Martin also left the US for better racing prospects in England.
1902 39 Years Old Smith kept few horses in 1902 and consequently allowed James R. Keene to employ Willie Shaw for much of the season. … Read More


On June 24, 1903, Smith was also banned from entering his horses in races overseen by The Jockey Club. … Read More
His family assumed that his "nerves" were affected from the stress of his and Shaw's suspension from racing, but Smith had also developed a persistent cough by the early months of 1904.
1905 42 Years Old 1 More Event
George E. Smith died at the sanitarium on February 1, 1905. … Read More
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