Ramon Dominguez, the reigning two-time Eclipse Award winner as outstanding jockey, joined Hall of Famer John Velazquez July 22 as the only riders in the 144-year history of Saratoga Race Course to win six races on a single card.
“I am very excited. Coming into today, I looked at the program and was very excited about my chances,” said Dominguez, who won on six of seven mounts. “We all know luck is a big factor. Everything clicked into place. I am very happy to win six races. At Saratoga, it’s anybody’s dream. This is a place you want to do it, for sure.
"It doesn’t get any better than this," he added. "I give my agent (Steve Rushing) all the credit in the world. He puts me in the position to do this consistently and do well. Then again, if you ask him, he will give all the credit to the trainers and the owners, and rightly so. I am very happy people support me.”
Dominguez swept the early Daily Double ($14) with Paper Plane ($8.30), who held on by a neck, and favored Summer Front ($2.90), the authoritative winner of the Duluth overnight stakes. Without a mount in race 3, Dominguez returned to the winner’s circle in race 4 with Rigby ($9.40) before suffering his only defeat when Current Design fell a length short as the even-money favorite in race 5.
His next mount, Temper in Command ($8.60), closed stoutly in race 7 before Reach for a Peach ($6.90) made a determined run to take race 8, with the rolling Double paying $34.40. With his mount Good Tickled scratched from the Sanford Stakes (gr. II), Dominguez demonstrated his sangfroid in the 10th and final race, waiting behind horses and splitting rivals in deep stretch to prevail aboard favored Wet One ($8.20).
“It was a great trip,” said Dominguez of his ride in the finale. “But turning for home, I was very concerned because it didn’t look like it was going to open up for me. I was happy my filly was in hand and ready to go right through it. Everything worked out great today.”
On June 5, 2011, Dominguez became the first jockey since Jorge Velasquez in 1981 to win six races at Belmont Park. Prior to Sunday, the last jockey to win six at a NYRA track was Corey Nakatani, who achieved the feat Oct. 8, 2011, at Belmont.
Through the first three days of racing at Saratoga, Dominguez leads the jockey standings with nine wins, six more than Irad Ortiz Jr., Jose Lezcano, Rosie Napravnik, Edgar Prado, and Joel Rosario, who are tied for second. Dominguez has led the year-end NYRA jockey standings the past three years and has won 17 meet titles, topping the Saratoga jockey standings in 2009.