Ramon Dominguez, North America’s top jockey until he was thrown from his mount and kicked in the head by another horse in a race at New York’s Aqueduct Racetrack, is retiring because of the severity of his injuries.
Dominguez, 36, was unseated when Convocation appeared to clip heels with Sovereign Default in the seventh race at Aqueduct in Queens, New York, on Jan. 18. Convocation stumbled and fell, throwing the jockey, who suffered a fractured skull when he was kicked by a horse coming from behind.
“Riding thoroughbreds has always been my passion and my calling,” Dominguez said in a statement distributed by the New York Racing Association. “While I hoped and even expected to be able to return to the saddle, as a result of my injuries and upon the advice of my treating physicians, it has been determined that I will no longer be able to pursue my career as a jockey.”
Dominguez has won the Eclipse award as North America’s top jockey for the past three years. He had 4,985 wins in 21,267 career starts as his mounts finishing in the money earned more than $191.6 million in purses. Before the spill, he won 18 of 87 starts in 2013 and accumulated $803,905 in purses.
“He has epitomized class both on and off the racetrack,” said NYRA Vice President P.J. Campo in a statement. “Universally respected by his fellow riders and beloved by fans, Ramon has built a towering and well-deserved reputation that serves as a standard for all future jockeys.”
Alex Waldrop, president and chief executive officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, said Dominguez is destined for thoroughbred racing’s Hall of Fame.
“Ramon Dominguez leaves an indelible mark on thoroughbred racing and his profession,” Waldrop said in a statement. “He epitomizes sportsmanship and professionalism as demonstrated by the respect he earned from his fellow jockeys.”
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