01/21/2013 4:43PM

Aqueduct: Dominguez shows improvement but is still in intensive care

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Barbara D. Livingston
Jockey Ramon Dominguez is closing in on a career milestone of 5,000 victories. He has 4,984.

Three-time Eclipse Award-winning rider Ramon Dominguez, who suffered a slightly displaced skull fracture in a spill at Aqueduct last Friday, showed some improvement over the weekend, but remained in the intensive care unit of Jamaica Medical Center Hospital on Monday.

Updates on the rider’s condition have been limited. On Sunday, Dominguez’s agent, Steve Rushing, in a text to the New York Racing Association, said Dominguez is “slowly progressing each day. He’s talking a little bit more today.”

On Saturday, Rushing said that doctors expressed some optimism in Dominguez’s progress, saying, “They’re optimistic of a full recovery.”

It was unclear what that meant as far as Dominguez’s ability to return to the saddle.

Rushing said there has been no timetable given for Dominguez to be moved out of the intensive care unit or when he could be released from the hospital.

Dominguez, 36, was injured Friday when his mount, Convocation, clipped heels with Sovereign Default approaching the top of the stretch in the seventh race. Convocation fell, hurling Dominguez hard to the inner track. A trailing horse, Straight Fax, hurdled over Convocation, and when he landed may have struck Dominguez in the head.

Dominguez also suffered a badly bruised right eye as a result of the spill.

On Saturday, Dominguez won his third straight Eclipse Award as North America’s leading jockey. In an awards ceremony at Gulfstream Park, fellow jockeys and Eclipse finalists John Velazquez and Javier Castellano picked up the award on behalf of Dominguez.

Dominguez, who has been the leading rider on the New York Racing Association circuit the last four years, is closing in on a career milestone of 5,000 victories. He has 4,984, which ranks him 27th on the all-time list, and his purse earnings of $191,563,097 place him 14th all time.

In 2012, Dominguez set a North American earnings record of $25,582,252. He won 341 races from 1,398 mounts, despite missing nearly two months because of a neck injury in the spring and a foot injury in the fall.