04/06/2013 4:18PM

Aqueduct: Dominguez says brain injury is worse than he had thought

Barbara D. Livingston
Ramon Dominguez, injured in a January spill at Aqueduct, will need longer to recover than he had hoped.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Jockey Ramon Dominguez said Saturday that the brain injury he suffered in a spill at Aqueduct in January was more severe than he first thought, and while he continues to make progress his return to the saddle is still several months away.

“I still continue to do therapy and after seeing the doctors I realize this brain injury has been a lot more severe than I first thought,” Dominguez said Saturday at Aqueduct, where he was honored as the New York Racing Association’s leading rider for 2012. “I am very happy with my progress and the group of doctors that I have. Everything really lay in the hands of God and the doctors. I’m very hopeful that I can come back soon.”

Dominguez, 36, was injured in a spill Jan. 18, and it was said his injury was a skull fracture. But Dominguez on Saturday called it “a traumatic brain injury.”

“I understand that there are different degrees of brain injury, and this was pretty severe,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez met with doctors on March 25, and at that time he was not given clearance to get back on horses in the morning as he had hoped. He said is not expected to meet again with doctors until June.

“My brain is still not healed all the way,” Dominguez said. “So at this point I’m taking it day by day and doing my therapies.”

Dominguez, the three-time reigning Eclipse Award winning rider, wouldn’t venture a guess on when he could return, though he said he would love to be ready by the time Saratoga opens on July 19.

“The more I talk to the doctors I realize how it was, and I know that the smartest thing to do is do what they say and continue my therapy,” Dominguez said. “I don’t want to give anybody hope or even myself when really everything’s in the doctor’s hands.”

In the meantime, Dominguez has given his agent, Steve Rushing, permission to take another jockey. Beginning Wednesday, Rushing will start booking mounts for Cornelio Velasquez, who is currently leading the standings at Aqueduct’s main track and who was rumored to be heading to Calder at the beginning of May.

New York rules permit an agent to handle the book of two agents, so conceivably Rushing could have both Dominguez and Velasquez at the same time.

“I’m fine with it,” Dominguez said. “Steve’s a super agent. I’m sure he’ll manage to do well with both jockeys.”


Diane Pelletier More than 1 year ago
Miss you so much no one compares not even Rosario. I pray you will be able to ride again and am sorry you were so badly hurt. Who do you think will win the Belmont? Orb loves the mud and gate one was the absolute worst gate to be in I certainly did not think Oxbow would win
Richard Doin More than 1 year ago
You are one of the best dude you get better , I know you can win this one , and I hope to see you at Saratoga Meet , get well ,
daniel More than 1 year ago
Vaya con Dios,amigo y tenga cuidado.
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
Dos cerveza per fav or
daniel More than 1 year ago
We shall pray for you and your family.Godspeed your recovery.Sincerly,Daniel
James More than 1 year ago
Best wishes for a complete recovery Ramon
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Brain injuries are always serious matters. Take your time, Ramon. There is no reason to rush your recovery, it's of paramount importance to the rest of your life that it is a complete recovery. Heal completely. We are all praying for you and are standing in solidarity with you on your road to recovery. Your mounts, your supporters and your fans will all be there when you return to action, no matter when that happens to be. Best wishes to you, always!
Elaine Parkinson More than 1 year ago
There is no rush to return to the saddle and your career as a rider. Your family and friends love you no matter what. The seriousness of a brain injury cannot be minimalized and you must listen to your doctors. I always think of the Tom Cruise movie about NASCAR drivers (Days of Thunder) and the injury sustained by the character "Roddy" in the movie. I have been praying for Ramon since he fell and will continue praying until he is well. God Bless Ramon and his family. Please take as much time as you require to keep yourself (and the other jockeys) safe and sound.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
get wel very soon ramon
Henry C Pierce More than 1 year ago
I Trust that Mr. Dominguez well understand , that he need a clear head to win in life. Msmudhcp's
Kathy Etling More than 1 year ago
Get well soon, Ramon. And may God bless you and yours.
hialeah More than 1 year ago
Good luck Ramon and have a happy and healthy return. JRV just went down - so say a prayer for him. The fans that bet their money can be somewhat critical at times (ya think). But someone gave me some good advise years ago that went, "When you bet your money it is gone. If you get some back then great. But when you bet, the money is gone." I don't think that any real fan wants anything but the best for these great athletes.