Two-time defending Eclipse champion jockey Ramon Dominguez won his fourth straight riding title on The New York Racing Association circuit while trainers Rick Dutrow Jr. and David Jacobson emerged in a tie for leading trainer as 2012 came to an end.
Dominguez, who returned to riding on Dec. 26 after taking a month off to recuperate from a bruised foot, closed out the year with a pair of four-win days at Aqueduct Racetrack to total 322 victories at the Big A, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course.
In 2012, the 36-year-old jockey twice rode six winners, on July 22 and Sept. 2 at the Spa, and had four five-win days as well, on Feb. 15, June 9, Nov. 18, and Nov. 24, including grade I wins aboard Stay Thirsty in the Cigar Mile and Dance Card in the Gazelle. At Saratoga, he set a meet record for victories with 68, including the Travers (gr. I) dead-heat win aboard Alpha.
Nationally, Dominguez led the country in purses won with $25,582,252, bolstered by his victory aboard Little Mike in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) and the Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT), two of his nine grade I wins for the year.
Cornelio Velasquez was second in the NYRA standings with 182 wins.
The race for the trainers’ title came down to the final day of racing in 2012, with Jacobson winning races 5 and 6 with Driven By Solar and Perimele to take a one-race advantage over Dutrow, 110-109. The lead was short-lived however, as Dutrow came right back and won race 7 with Gallant Fields to tie at 110-110.
It was the first year-end training title for Jacobson, whose father, the late Howard "Buddy" Jacobson, was a five-time leading trainer in New York in the 1960s, and the fourth for Dutrow, who also won in 2001, 2002, and 2005.
Defending Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher was third with 107 wins.
With 67 victories, Michael Dubb earned his second leading owner title, having also won in 2010. Drawing Away Stable was second with 59 wins.