With two days remaining on the 2010 racing calendar, there are close races for North America’s leading jockey by earnings and leading jockey by number of wins.
According to Equibase statistics through Dec. 29, Ramon Dominguez holds a $12,822 lead over John Velazquez in the earnings race. Dominguez’s mounts have earned $16,737,270 in North America, while Velazquez has tallied $16,724,448. (Including earnings from the Dubai World Cup card, Dominguez is still the leader, with $17,237,270, but Garrett Gomez, the 2009 leading rider by earnings, is second with $16,783,869).
On the penultimate card at Aqueduct Dec. 30, Dominquez is listed on six mounts while Velazquez has been named on three horses at Calder Race Course. On Dec. 31, Dominguez has been booked on eight horses at Aqueduct and Velazquez is named on three at Calder.
Meanwhile, Russell Baze’s three-year reign as top rider by number of wins is in jeopardy, as he enters the last two days of the year trailing Deshawn Parker by 11 wins—373 to 362.
On the Dec. 30 card at West Virginia’s Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort, Parker is named on eight horses, with Baze scheduled to ride six horses at Golden Gate in northern California. Parker has no mounts on Dec. 31, according to Equibase, and Baze is named on seven at Golden Gate.
With 415 wins in 2009, Baze notched his 11th riding title by number of winners in a season. The 52-year-old native of Vancouver, B. C. reached a milestone this year when he posted his 11,000th career win Aug. 14 at the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa, Calif.
Although the jockeys’ races are close, the same cannot be said for the trainers’ standings, in which Todd Pletcher is a runaway winner over Steve Asmussen. Through racing of Dec. 29, Pletcher-trained horses have earned $23.1 million, compared with $16.2 million for Asmussen. One of the highlights of Pletcher’s 2010 season was his first Kentucky Derby (gr. I) win with WinStar Farm’s Super Saver .