Robyn Smith, who hit the heights among female jockeys five years ago at the big-time New York tracks, has fallen on hard times, the New York Times noted in a feature column yesterday:

From 51 winners on 501 mounts and purse earnings of $634,000 in 1973, a gradual slide down to a lone winner in 55 rides this year, and having a hard time finding trainers who will give her a leg up.

Steve Cady concluded his report with: "Meanwhile, Robyn gets by on her television endorsements, drives a $22,000 red sports car she calls 'my only luxury,' and continues to wait . . . 'How can I win,' she said, slipping behind the wheel of her British-built Jensen, 'If I don't ride?'"

And then, after the story had gone to press -

Outside Saratoga Springs, where the thoroughbred clan is gathered for August, state police were summoned to a crash on Rte. 9. A red sports car was headed south on the highway when an auto pulled out of a parking lot, without headlights, forced the sports car driver to swerve out of the way and fled the scene.

The red Jensen overturned and caught fire and had to be hauled to Matt's Servicenter. Robyn Smith, 33, refused medical treatment - telling officers she has been hurt worse falling off a horse . . .