Now Retired, Hall of Famer Jockey Dominguez Back At Saratoga

10.08.2016, by Jim
Now Retired, Hall of Famer Jockey Dominguez Back At Saratoga&h=223&w=348&zc=1

Every professional athlete hopes to leave their respective game ‘on their own terms’. Hall of Fame jockey Ramon Dominguez didn’t have that luxury. He suffered a serious riding accident on January 18, 2013. Dominguez was aboard a horse named Convocation when she fell and threw him to the inner dirt track. Dominguez suffered a broken skull and spent the next three weeks in the hospital. He briefly contemplated a comeback but was advised by doctors to end his career. He was only 36 years old at the time.

There was nowhere he loved riding more than Saratoga and few jockeys enjoyed as much success there. This year he’s spending the summer at Saratoga with his wife and children. He tried to make a return last year but stayed for only a couple of days saying “I wasn’t ready. It wasn’t the right time.” He says that he might still be in ‘mourning’ for he abortive career were it not for his wife Sharon: “Even in the down time, when you are not happy about not being able to ride anymore, it’s something that’s necessary to go through that grieving period, because that allows you to be able to move on. My wife was instrumental, because if it was up to me, I would probably still not come to the track. And now not only do I come, but I enjoy coming to the races. And it was because she forced me. She knew it was important.”

Now he’s being afforded the greatest honor of all–enshrinement into the Horse Racing Hall of Fame. He says that he hasn’t started an acceptance speech for Friday’s induction ceremony: “I have consciously tried not to think about it,” Dominguez said. “I’m very much looking forward to it, and I have been procrastinating as far as having my speech or what I’m going to say or gathering my ideas. But I will be ready that day, and it’ll be emotional in a good way.”

Former jockey turned TV analyst Steve Miglore understands–he had to retire from racing after neck surgery in 2010. Asked if Dominguez’s induction would have a ‘bittersweet’ quality: “I don’t think so with him. I think he’s really gotten to a good place with it. Unfortunately, being a jockey can end at anytime for anybody.”

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