Saturday, January 19, 2013
Dominguez named best jockey
By Claire Novak
The thoughts and best wishes of the racing industry went out to jockey Ramon Dominguez the night he was honored with his third consecutive Eclipse Award.
Dominguez, 36, was resting in stable condition Jan. 19 at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in New York with a slightly displaced skull fracture after going down in a Jan. 18 spill at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Doctors expect a full recovery for the native Venezuelan, who turned in a career-best and record-setting 2012 while dominating the New York circuit.
Dominguez, who began riding in his native country at 18 and rode his first U.S. winner in 1996 at Hialeah Park, has topped the national earnings leader board the past three years. His timing clicks. His mounts respond. His riding style is polish exemplified.
After collecting his first Eclipse Award in 2010 and powering his way to a second for 2011, Dominguez set a new mark for single-season earnings by a jockey in 2012, when his mounts brought home $25,582,252 to shatter the 2003 bar of $23,354,960 set by Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey. Dominguez also ruled the Empire State, where he lives with his wife, Sharon, and young sons, Matthew and Alex. Of 341 victories from 1,398 mounts in 2012, 322 came on the New York Racing Association circuit as he swept every meet title there.
The jockey twice rode six winners on a New York Racing Association card and four times he had five-win days, including Nov. 24 when he counted the Cigar Mile Handicap aboard Stay Thirsty and the Gazelle Stakes on Dance Card as part of his year-end tally of 10 Grade 1 wins. Other major victories included the Arlington Million Stakes and Breeders' Cup Turf aboard Little Mike and the Travers Stakes on Alpha.