From a Delaware Park release
The 21st annual Owners’ Day on September 14 has been declared Ramon Dominguez Day in Delaware. The Honorable Governor of Delaware, Jack Markell, has declared the day in honor of the recently retired former five-time leading jockey and record setting rider at Delaware Park.
“If there has ever been a Hall of Fame career synonymous with Delaware Park, it is his,” said Executive Director of Racing John Mooney. “During the years he dominated Delaware Park, he was also establishing himself on the national level by winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf, Wood Memorial and Sword Dancer, just to name a few. Through it all, he did it the right way, and while he was an outstanding rider, he is a greater man. He made the Delaware Park family proud while he rode, and I am sure he will continue to make us proud in whatever he chooses to do.”
In celebration of the day, a limited edition Ramon Dominguez bobble head will be available for purchase with proceeds benefiting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, and a commemorative 8 x 10 photo of the defending three-time Eclipse Award-winning rider will be given away free. The 36-year-old native of Caracas, Venezuela, will also be available for autographs during the course of the day. A trophy race will be named in his honor as part of the live racing card.
Before capturing 21 riding titles on the New York circuit, Dominguez dominated Delaware Park in similar fashion. After notching his first career Delaware Park victory aboard the Frank Passero-conditioned Nice to Know on April 18, 1998, Dominguez had a Delaware Park career record of 1,526 wins, 1,071 seconds and 860 thirds from 5,591 mounts with purses earned of $40,505,126. His Delaware Park career victories reflect 31% of his 4,985 total career wins. At Delaware Park, he won a total of 98 stakes – 10 of which were graded, including a Delaware Handicap victory in 2001 with Irving’s Baby and in 2007 with Unbridled Belle. He was the leading jockey at Delaware Park in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008. In 2003, he set the record for most wins by racking up 254 wins.
Dominguez notched his first career win aboard Solo Moondance at Hialeah in 1996. He recorded his first Grade I victory aboard A Huevo in the DeFrancis Dash at Laurel Park in 2003. In 2012, he won the Breeders’ Cup Turf and the Arlington Million aboard Little Mike and the Travers Stakes aboard Alpha. In 2011, he won the Apple Blossom, Woodward and Beldame Stakes aboard the eventual Horse of the Year Havre de Grace and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with Hansen. He rode Gio Ponti to victories in the 2009 and 2010 Man o’War Stakes and the Arlington Million in 2009, and he rode Better Talk Now to victories in the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Turf, the 2005 Man o’ War and the 2007 Manhattan.
The event will add to a full card of live racing featuring four Delaware Certified Stakes, two trophy races honoring the Delaware State Senators and Representatives and a pair of Owner’s Day Stakes. The festivities are sponsored by Delaware Park, the Delaware Certified Thoroughbred Program and the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen Association.
(Featured image, of Ramon Dominguez aboard Havre de Grace, by Teresa Genaro.)