Updated on 11/28/2012 6:00PM

Aqueduct: Dominguez will take a month off to allow bruised foot to heal

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Barbara D. Livingston
Ramon Dominguez has an excellent chance to win his third consecutive Eclipse Award this year.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Like most athletes, jockey Ramon Dominguez doesn’t tend to dwell on his accomplishments as they are happening. Reflection usually comes during times of respite.

Unfortunately for Dominguez, he will have ample time to reflect on what has been another sensational season for the 36-year-old jockey as he will take off the next month due to a bruised left foot.

Dominguez confirmed Wednesday that he won’t ride again until Dec. 26. Dominguez said he first hurt the foot coming out of the gate on Desert Sunny, whom he rode to victory in a division of the New York Stallion Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 14.

Dominguez said the foot didn’t bother him as he was riding – he went 21 for 62 with two five-win days since the incident – but it did hinder him as he walked. Also, with the injury being to his left foot, it would sometimes get aggravated during post parades by bumping with the pony that would accompany him.

“It hasn’t got much better so I went and took an X-ray and while it wasn’t broken the doctor said it was a pretty bad bruise,” said Dominguez, who saw his doctor on Monday. “He recommended me to take some time off to let it heal.”

The break from riding will enable Dominguez to spend time with his wife and two children but will also allow him to reflect on what is likely to be a third straight Eclipse Award-winning year.

In 2012, Dominguez set a single-year record for purse money earned by a jockey with $25,132,486. True, he was aided by the slots-infused increase in purse money in New York.

However, consider that Dominguez missed three weeks of action due to a broken collarbone sustained on March 18 and then went 0 for 26 in his first three weeks back from the injury. Now, he will miss three weeks of action at the New York Racing Association, which will take a nine-day hiatus beginning Dec. 17.

Dominguez has 328 wins, which ranks him second behind only Russell Baze. He will be the leading rider on the NYRA circuit for the fourth consecutive year as his 309 wins are 138 more than Javier Castellano.

Dominguez won riding titles at the Belmont sprint and fall meets and set a single-meet record of 68 wins at Saratoga, where he twice rode six winners on the card.

At the current Aqueduct meet, Dominguez has 32 wins, double that of his closest pursuer, Joel Rosario. Last Saturday, he won five races on the card, including three graded stakes.

In 2012, Dominguez won a single-year best 28 graded stakes, including 10 Grade 1’s.

“I’m very, very happy with the way my year went,” Dominguez said. “This year was a little better than last year, which was a really great year.”

Among the milestones Dominguez has to look forward to in 2013 is the fact he will most likely join the elite 5,000-win club in the first quarter of the year. He currently has 4,953 victories.