Ramon Dominguez – American Thoroughbred Jockey

Ramon Dominguez Breeder’s Cup WinRamon Dominguez, born November 24, 1976 in Caracas, Venezuela, is a champion American thoroughbred horse racing jockey.

Ramon began riding full time at La Rinconada racetrack in his native country at age 18. He came to the United States in 1995 and rode his first winner in March of 1996 at Hialeah Park. 

In 2001 and 2003, Ramon had the most wins of any jockey in the United States. In 2004, Ramon boosted his reputation significantly when he captured the John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf (G 1T) aboard Better Talk Now. In the same year he received the Isaac Murphy Award for the jockey with the highest winning percentage. In the 2006 Kentucky Derby, Dominguez rode Bluegrass Cat to a second place finish behind Barbaro. In March 2006 and again in January 2007, he rode five winners from eight mounts at Aqueduct Racetrack, and won his 3,000th race at Delaware Park on May 9, 2007. Ramon was the leading rider at Delaware Park from 2004-2007. 

After he moved his tack to New York, Ramon won the first of nine consecutive leading rider titles at the 2008-2009 Inner Track Meet at Aqueduct with 124 victories. In the 2009 Breeders Cup Classic, he rode Gio Ponti to a second place finish behind Zenyatta. 

4000th WinOn February 17, 2010, Ramon won the first five races in a row at Aqueduct Racetrack. Ramon reached a personal milestone when he notched his 4,000th career win March 19, 2010 in the second race at New York’s Aqueduct Racetrack aboard Fortyninegeorgest. He went on to earn G1 victories in 2010 aboard Gio Ponti in the Man ‘o War Stakes and Shadwell Turf Mile, and Boys At Tosconova in the Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes. 

On January 17, 2011, Ramon won the 2010 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey. In 2011, Ramon won G1 races aboard Havre de Grace (Woodward Stakes, Apple Blossom Stakes), Get Stormy (Woodford Reserve Turf Classic), Stacelita (Beverly D. Stakes), and Grace Hall (Spinaway Stakes). He won other graded stakes aboard State of Play, Aruna, Justin Phillip, Super Espresso, Alternation, Dynamic Holiday, Calibrachoa, Stay Thirsty, Harissa, Silver Reunion, and Brethren. Ramon also equaled the NYRA one-day record held by 16 other jockeys with six wins at Belmont Park on June 5, 2011. Ramon took home his second Breeders’ Cup win in the Grey Goose Juvenile Classic aboard Hansen. 

In 2012, Ramon won the 2011 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey, and on February 25, 2012, it was announced that Ramon had won the 2012 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. On March 3, 2012, Ramon piloted Hansen to a win in the Gotham Stakes. Dominguez rode six winners on the 10-race program at Saratoga on July 22, 2012, equaling the track record for most victories by a jockey on one card. No jockey has ever won more than six races in one day at any New York Racing Association track.Eclipse Award

Dominguez is the recipient of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey. In 2012, he set a new mark for single-season earnings by a jockey, when his mounts brought home $25,582,252 to shatter the 2003 bar of $23,354,960 set by Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey.

On June 13, 2013, Ramon announced his retirement due to head injuries suffered in a fall at Aqueduct Racetrack on January 18, 2013.

Ramon is among the nominees on the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame ballot for 2016. Results will be announced April 25th. The induction ceremony will be held at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Paviln in Saratoga Springs on Friday, August 12th at 10:30 a.m. The complete story of the nominations for 2016 can be found on the National Museum of Racing website.

Ramon lives in Floral Park, NY with his wife, Sharon, and two young sons, Matthew and Alex. You can learn more about Ramon’s family and their life “after the fall” at www.RamonAndSharon.com.