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.