During the first seven racing days at Belmont’s Fall Meet Ramon Dominguez has been finishing in the money at a titanic 67 percent clip. After 52 starts he is in a familiar position: tied with John Velazquez with 11 wins out of 67 total races. In a memorable stretch of nine races in which he had mounts on Wednesday into Thursday, Dominguez won or placed second in 8 straight and finished third aboard an 18/1 shot in the other race.
Dominguez appears to have a slight case of seconditis, placing 19 times out of the 52 starts. On the other hand, out of 67 races so far, Ramon has been involved in a whopping 30 exactas and over half the trifectas. To be fair, he gets a leg up on his share of favorites but the Fall Meet is not exactly the inner dirt at Aqueduct.
Between 1/1 and 4/25 of this year, Dominguez won on over 30 percent of his mounts at the Qzone Park oval. In contrast, the racing at Belmont right now includes a bevy of top riders, trainers and horses. In addition to John Velazquez other jockeys who are poised to make a run at the title include Cornelio Velasquez (8 wins), Rajiv Maragh (7 wins) Alan Garcia (6 wins), and Javier Castellano (6 wins) among others.
To this point Dominguez is also leading the earnings parade after capturing the feature GI Garden City on Check the Label on Saturday and the G3 The Nobel Damsel aboard Strike The Bell on Sunday. He completed the late double on both of those cards with returns of $10.00 on Saturday and 49.60 on Sunday.
Earlier this year Dominguez surpassed the 4,000-win plateau since immigrating to the US from his native Venezuela in 1996. He is a one heck of a rider in the prime of his career, but a small knock would be that he has yet to capture a Triple Crown race and only one Breeders’ Cup win out of 20 mounts. In 2009, he ranked third on the national earnings list for jockeys and he is well on the way for a high rank this year. Look for him to capture the Fall Meet title when he elects to stay in New York and the competition points to Keeneland and Churchill.