Jockey Ramon Dominguez

Jockey Ramon Dominguez

Coady Photography/Keeneland

Dominguez Ready to Ride Alpha in Wood

Ramon Dominguez said he's feeling great and is set to ride Godolphin colt at Big A.

Jockey Ramon Dominguez said during a national teleconference April 3 that he is progressing nicely after suffering a separated collarbone March 18 and is on schedule to ride Godolphin’s Alpha  in the April 7 Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct.

“I feel good and I’ve made a lot of progress,” Dominguez said. "The doctor is very happy with how I look. He just said the only thing is to minimize the number of horses I ride, so I can get back gradually. The shoulder is getting stronger as time goes by. I’ve been exercising , and I plan to get on the Equicizer on Thursday. If feel confident getting on Alpha for the Wood. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be riding.”


Dominguez suffered his injury when his mount, Mob Wife, took a bad step and fell, throwing the rider. Not only does Dominguez want to return to ride Alpha, he has the mount on Hansen the following week in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).


Alpha, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, has won the Count Fleet and Withers (gr. III) this year over the Aqueduct inner track. The son of Bernardini has had problems acting up in the starting gate, but Dominguez feels that is in the past.


“They’ve done a lot of schooling with him and he was great in the gate last time, so I’m not concerned at all,” Dominguez said. “That’s the last thing on my mind. In the Withers he was in the gate for a while and had every chance to act if he was going to do it, but he behaved great.


“He’s a very easy horse to ride and very straightforward. He’s the kindest horse in the world in the paddock and in the barn.”


Dominguez feels Alpha will have no distance limitations and should be suited for the 1 ¼ miles of the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).


“As a jockey, you can only go by what you feel and what you see, and he’s definitely bred to go far,” he said. “When I rode him in the Count Fleet, he was coming off a layoff since the Breeders’ Cup, and he did get a little tired down the lane, but he definitely got a lot out of the race and was very strong galloping out. It was a perfect scenario for him that he was obviously tired, but continued to gallop out strong. He has a beautiful stride and a very high cruising speed and feels like he can continue at that pace forever.”


Dominguez has not made any firm decision on who he will ride in the Derby and will wait until after the Blue Grass before he commits to either Alpha or Hansen.


“I want to see both of them run, and I’m just thankful I’m riding for two outfits that are open-minded and understand the game,” Dominguez said.