Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Final Finish Line

Saratoga’s top jockey in 2012 announced his retirement on Thursday, in the aftermath of a head injury he suffered in a spill at Aqueduct earlier this year.

Dominguez winning the Yaddo Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 2012
“It is extremely difficult for me to announce that due to the severity of the injuries I sustained in an accident at Aqueduct Racetrack on January 18, 2013, my professional riding career has come to an end,” Ramon Dominguez announced, in a prepared statement.
“While I hoped and even expected to be able to return to the saddle, as a result of my injuries and upon the advice of my treating physicians, it has been determined that I will no longer be able to pursue my career as a jockey.”

The 36-year-old began riding horses at the age of 16 in Venezuela. Last summer, he finished the season as Saratoga's most winning    
 jockey, with 68 first-place finishes and nearly $4.9 million in earnings.

“Ramon distinguished himself immediately upon moving his tack to New York in 2009,” said P.J. Campo, NYRA vice president and director of racing. “He won numerous meet riding titles and many of our top races, en route to becoming New York’s leading rider for each of the past four years.” 

Dominguez, who secured the last three Eclipse awards as North America’s top jockey, expressed gratitude to his family, fans, and fellow riders for their support in the months following his accident. “My riding career has brought happiness and success beyond what I ever expected,” he said.

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