Friday, January 18, 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.
“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.”