Dominguez Takes 2003 Maryland Honors

(from Laurel report)
Despite the fact that he divided his riding year between Maryland and Delaware Park, Ramon Dominguez had more trips to the winners' circle in Maryland than any other rider in the colony, winning 185 races at Pimlico and Laurel Park in 2003.

The 27-year old, who won the 2003 national riding title with 453 victories, also topped the standings in winning percentage at 25.6%. The Maryland Jockey Club rewards the jockey and trainer with the most victories and best winning percentage for the entire year. All four categories carry a $2,500 bonus.

Ryan Fogelsonger, who left for the Southern California circuit after the Laurel summer meet ended in August, was second with 181 wins. Mario Pino was third with 180 first place finishes. It was the 25th consecutive year that Pino has finished in the top five of the overall standings. Rick Wilson was fourth with 120 wins. Those four were the only riders to finish with a winning percentage that exceeded 20%: Fogelsonger (21.0%), Pino (20.8%) and Wilson (20.0%).

Dale Capuano earned his sixth training title in the last seven years. The conditioner has saddled 100 winners at Pimlico and Laurel this year, 28 more than Scott Lake, the nation's top trainer. The 41-year old won four of the five meets during the year, edging Mark Shuman for the Laurel fall title, 25-23.

Capuano finished 10th nationally with 164 victories and has now captured 24 career meets at Pimlico and Laurel Park.

Tony Dutrow won the prize for best percentage among trainers for the fourth time in the last five years, by winning races at a 29.8% clip (50-of-168). Howard Wolfendale was the runner-up, scoring on nearly 27% of his starters (42-of-158).

Michael Gill dominated the owner standings for the second straight year by winning 145 races, including 51 in the fall meet, and just over $3 million at Pimlico and Laurel Park, capturing all five meets. Gill also led the nation with 425 victories and earnings ($9.2 million). The familiar blue colors visited the winners' circle with six different trainers: Mark Shuman (45), Jerry Robb (44), Gamaliel Vazquez (21), Nick Canani (20), Phil Schoenthal (10) and Brenda Brady (five).

"I love Maryland and whatever happens with the slot machines situation, I will continue to run horses at Pimlico and Laurel," said Gill. "It is one of the only places to treat me fair and I will continue to support the people who support me."

Gill also tied Sondra Bender for most stakes victories in the state with seven.

PTK Racing was a distant second in the overall standings with 28 wins.