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Ramon Dominguez: Road to 5,000 Wins

 

Popular jockey and NYRA regular Ramon Dominguez is closing in on 5,000 career victories to kick off 2013. We visit with the Venezuelan superstar as he closes in on the important milestone.

 

Tapit's Wood Memorial: January 17, 2013

NYRA Press Office

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ramon Dominguez entered Thursday’s card with 4,983 wins in North America, 17 shy of 5,000. Since his first victory ever at Aqueduct – aboard Show My Gal on April 22, 1999 – and entering Thursday’s card, Dominguez has ridden 1,048 winners at the Big A, which accounts for 21 percent of his total. On Thursday, the 36-year-old native of Venezuela reflected on his biggest victory ever at Aqueduct and his subsequent decision to move his tack here from the mid-Atlantic.

“Winning the Wood Memorial aboard Tapit in 2004 was definitely a big highlight. It came at a time in my career where I was starting to get better mounts and be friendlier with trainers like Graham Motion and Michael Dickinson and some others. It was a probably a turning point in my life, my career. Tapit was a horse who had tactical speed if you needed him. He was very, very talented. That day, the speed was actually holding pretty well. I just felt we had to take a hold coming into the first turn to settle down and before we know it we were pretty far back. He was taking me pretty nicely, and around the three-eighths pole, I finally could make a run but I was going to get going too wide around a horse called Swingforthefences, for Rick Violette. At that point in the race, which I didn’t want to do, I had to take a light hold to get behind horses. When we got to the top of the lane, I said it was time for me to circle horses and from the quarter-pole home, he picked it up very gradually and made me feel that he wasn’t all out by any means.

Ramon_Tapit

“I was very happy a couple of years later when my agent and I decided to come to Aqueduct and test the waters, so to speak. New York racing has always been the big leagues of racing, and from the get-go I always had a great response from people who were very supportive. I have great memories about Aqueduct from my beginnings. I have always been able, knock wood, to do well here. Riding in the winter can be uncomfortable at times, but at the end of the day when you’re riding good horses and winning races, it definitely makes it warmer. When you weigh your primary purpose, which is winning races, you forget about the cold. And to be with my family as well is priceless.”

 

Reflecting on Milestones

NYRA Press Office

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dominguez_Ramon_5_L

Ramon Dominguez entered Wednesday’s card with 4,981 wins in North America, 19 shy of 5,000. With Dominguez averaging exactly two wins a day since December 26, the two-time reigning Eclipse Award it should be only a matter of days before Dominguez reaches that mark.

Dominguez, a 36-year-old native of Venezuela, said on Wednesday that approaching an important milestone causes him to reflect upon how far he has come since he began his North American riding career at Hialeah Park in the spring of 1996.

 

“Anytime I’m close to reaching a milestone, whether it’s 5,000 or when I was approaching 4,000 or 3,000, I can’t help but to think about the time I won my 1,000th race,” said Dominguez. “I thought it was a big deal at the time. What amazes me is how it feels like it was yesterday, literally. It happened at Pimlico. I don’t remember the day, but I remember being in the winner’s circle. They presented me with a watch that was engraved with ‘Ramon Dominguez’s 1000th win.’ I felt like it was such a big deal at the time, and I feel that it wasn’t too long ago. To now be contemplating 5,000 is big to me, and it feels great.”

Dominguez’s 1,000th victory came in 2001, and it’s been less than three years since he won his 4,000th race. He reached the 4,000 milestone on March 19, 2010 when he piloted Fortyninegeorgest to victory at Aqueduct Racetrack. With Dominguez once again remaining in New York for the winter, the rider is likely to achieve another milestone at the Big A. Visit NYRA.com for daily updates on Dominguez and he moves closer to 5,000!

 

FORBES’ FIRSTERS FOR FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28

Jon Forbes

RACE 2, ALL TWO-YEAR-OLDS, ONE MILE, 12:58 P.M.

INMYFATHERSIMAGE (chestnut colt, Curlin—Friendly Michelle, by Artax) is out of a mare who won the Grade 1 Prioress and Grade 3 La Troienne. From two foals to race, Friendly Michelle has one winner, Da Vinci, who has three victories to date. Da Vinci is by A.P. Indy, the sire of Curlin.

Owner: Jennifer Contessa & Carl Bowling
Trainer: Gary Contessa
Jockey: Rajiv Maragh

 

FORBES’ FIRSTERS FOR SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16

Jon Forbes

RACE 3, TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLIES, ONE MILE & 70 YARDS, 1:26 P.M.

HOPE RULES (chestnut filly, Sky Mesa—Fun Crowd, by Easy Goer) is a half-sister to Funny Moon, who won the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks and Grade 2 Shuvee Handicap. A half-brother, Throng, captured minor stakes at Laurel Park and Arlington Park. Their dam is an unraced half-sister to Vanlandingham, who was named Champion Older Horse after winning races like the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup and Grade 1 Washington, D.C. International. Hope Rules was the most expensive of 37 yearlings by her sire to sell at auction in 2011.

Owner: Waterville Lake Stable
Trainer: Christophe Clement
Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Sales history: $300,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling