Former jockey Antonio Vega, who won over 700 races in a 30-year riding career, has passed away at age 52, the Star-Ledger reports (here).

Vega nearly won the Eclipse Award for leading apprentice rider following a 1983 season in which he visited the winner’s circle 288 times, including a then-record 134 wins at Monmouth, out of nearly 1,700 mounts.

Vega never reached those heights again.  By the mid-1990s, he was down to a few dozen mounts per year, though he continued to ride through 2012, a year in which he recorded four third-place finishes from 13 starts.

Funeral arrangements are pending.