Jockey Ramon Dominguez'es Top 5 Rides

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D.S. Williamson

February 11th, 2016

According to an article from ESPN.com, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame has decided that jockey Ramon Dominguez can be considered for induction into the Hall even though he hasn't been retired for the required 5 years. Dominguez had to retire do to an injury he sustained in 2013. The National Museum of Racing stated that it was up to "their discretion" regarding the requirement rules.

That's a great move on the part of the National Museum of Racing. Dominguez won 3 straight Eclipse Awards for Outstanding Jockey from 2010 through 2012. In 2012, the year before his retirement, Dominguez won 342 races from 1,398 mounts. The horses that Dominguez rode that year earned $25,639,432. The man deserves to be in the Racing Hall of Fame.

In honor of the great Ramon Dominguez, let's take a look at the brilliant jockey's Top 5 High Profile Rides.

Ramon Dominguez'es Top 5 Rides
1. Little Mike, 2012 Breeders Cup Turf - The 2012 Breeders' Cup Turf was only the second race for Little Mike at 12 furlongs. The Spanish Steps sired and Dale Romans trained gelding was known as a turf front runner. If Little Mike couldn't steal the race on the front end, conventional wisdom went, he had no shot of winning. But, under Ramon, Little Mike relaxed beautifully in the BC Turf. He ended up winning and paying a $36.60 mutuel. Little Mike held off chalk Point of Entry while beating such invaders as the Aidan O'Brien trained St. Nicholas Abbey, Japan's Trailblazer and the well-regarded Shareta.   

2. Havre De Grace, 2011 Woodward Stakes - Talented front runner Rule got away with an easy :48 half. Not only that, but closer Flat Out started his bid early. Notice how Ramon took Havre De Grace out just a bit to force Alex Solis aboard Flat Out to have to go between Havre De Grace and Rule? That's what I call race riding!
3. Hansen, 2011 Breeders Cup Juvenile - Hansen was highly regarded but Union Rags was so highly regarded that Union Rags went off at even money while Hansen went off at 7 to 1 in the 2011 Breeders Cup Juvenile. Ramon didn't hesitate. Once the gates opened, he took Hansen directly to the front. The first quarter went in a blistering 23.26. Hansen had no business continuing on. In fact, at the top of the stretch it looked like Union Rags was going to run right by Hansen. Ramon muscled the almost white horse home first in another brilliant ride.
4. Stay Thirsty, 2012 Cigar Mile - Although there were only 5 horses in the 2012 Cigar Mile and although Ramon rode the second choice at 3 to 1, his ride aboard Stay Thirsty is one of my favorites. Ramon timed his ride perfectly aboard Stay Thirsty. He got his horse to run down champion and odds on favorite Groupie Doll at the wire. Groupie Doll, Coil and Buffum ran the half mile in a pedestrian :47 and Ramon still got Stay Thirsty to the wire first. Wow.
5. Gio Ponti, 2009 Frank E. Kilroe Mile - This is the only copy of the 2009 Frank E. Kilroe Mile that I could find on YouTube. If you can stand the quality, this race is definitely worth watching. What separated Ramon from other jockeys was his innate ability to understand the pace of a race and when to push the button on the horses that he rode. Ramon flat out beats 4/5 chalk Ventura under arguably the world's best jockey at the time, Garrett Gomez, on the wire. When I mean on the wire, I mean, on the wire. If Gio Ponti's nose was any shorter, Ramon would have lost the race!

What a brilliant jockey. You don't win 3 straight Eclipse Awards as Outstanding Jockey unless you know what you're doing. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is doing the right thing by making an exception to the rule for Ramon Dominguez.


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