08/25/2013 3:05PM

Saratoga: Dominguez honored in winner's circle

Tom Keyser
Recently retired jockey Ramon Dominguez, a three-time Eclipse Award winner, receives the Mike Venezia Award in the winner's circle at Saratoga on Sunday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Three-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Ramon Dominguez, who retired earlier this year because of a brain injury suffered in a spill at Aqueduct on Jan. 18, was honored here Sunday in an emotional ceremony held in the winner’s circle following the afternoon’s fourth race.

Dominguez received a standing ovation from his fellow riders, industry leaders, and a grandstand full of his fans after being presented his 2012 Eclipse Award trophy as well as the 2013 Mike Venezia Award. The Venezia Award, named in honor of the popular rider who died as a result of injuries suffered in a spill at Belmont Park in 1988, is presented to a jockey who exemplifies extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship. Dominguez became the first recipient of the Venezia Award since 2006.

Dominguez spoke only briefly after receiving his award from Helene Venezia, the wife of the late jockey, saying, “I’m honored, humbled, and very proud to be the recipient of this award.”

Christopher Kay, the recently appointed chief executive of the New York Racing Association, also presented Dominguez with a check for $15,000 made out in his name to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

Dominguez, who also won the Eclipse Award as the nation’s top jockey in 2010 and 2011, was the leading rider on the New York circuit from 2009 through 2012. He captured the Saratoga jockeys’ title in 2009 and again last summer when riding a record 68 winners.      

Stephen Stankiewicz More than 1 year ago
Ramon Dominguez was one dam good jockey, but more than that, he is a hell of a good man! Good Luck to Ramon Dominguez!
Bill Kaup More than 1 year ago
This is wonderful. It pains all of us that this great jockey's career was abruptly terminated just at the height of his magnificent career, but that's life. I truly wish he finds something to replace riding race horses and that he's as successful in whatever that pursuit turns out to be.
Richard Zelinka More than 1 year ago
When Ramon began the Maryland circuit years ago, he was bringing in long shots, especially turf horses. I knew then that Ramon was someone special. Fortunately, I noticed this, before most of the other bettors. I placed win bets on his mounts simply because of Ramon, feeling that his mounts were "live". I hit quite a few long shots before the rest of the bettors caught on. Thanks Ramon.
nicholas More than 1 year ago
I remember mike Venezia when I was in high school I worked for a barn that had a stakes horse he rode -- he always brought breakfast for the barn-- he was a sweet sweet man -- Eddie maple was great too-- I hope Ramon recovers fully and enjoys his family and finds a place in the industry -- a class act like him is needed
Gary Camejo More than 1 year ago
All the best to a real classy jockey. Don't know who is going to provide me with a winner from the top of the lane.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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Harvey Savitsky More than 1 year ago
Really nice grammar and spelling job! Hopeless 'Draft'; was it good????
LauraB More than 1 year ago
Whatever Ramon wants to do next, I hope it brings him happiness and success. As for the person called JOJO - It is better to remain silent and thought a fool then to speak and remove all doubt. Food for thought.
Alex More than 1 year ago
They said that ramon used to buy all sorts of baked good every day for the backstretch people?? I hope some other jockeys have stepped in and filled the void now that Ramon is gone.
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Can't think of a more deserving winner of the Venezia Award. A class act. Good luck, Ramon, in your continued recovery.
CM CM More than 1 year ago
good luck ramon we wish you well www.rcmooreunique.com