Monday, March 30, 2009


Jockey Ramon Dominguez rode four winners Sunday afternoon at Aqueduct Racetrack, including both $100,000 divisions of the New York Stallions Stakes, to put an exclamation point on his brilliant record-setting Big A inner dirt track championship.

Dominguez, a 32-year-old native of Caracas, Venezuela, had already locked up his second consecutive inner track title, entering Sunday’s card with 120 victories, while his nearest rival was C.C Lopez with 59 winners. His four wins on Sunday gave him 124 for the inner track season, which began on December 3, 2008.

“It feels great,” said Dominguez, a top rider on the Mid-Atlantic circuit who announced earlier this year that he was moving his tack to New York. “This has been a really good meet for us [Dominguez and agent Steve Rushing]. People have always been supportive through the years here, but I always say, `Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.’ Now, I just need to regroup and think ahead to the spring and summer. I’m very excited to stay in New York this year. I know things will change -- the top riders will come back -- but I’m ready to give it a try and see how things go.”

Dominguez won Sunday’s third race with Rovic’s Wealth ($9.40) and the fifth race with Indian War Dance ($5.40). Dominguez missed a five-win day when he and his mount, Tulipmania, were disqualified from first and placed second for interference with Olde Glamour in the sixth race.

As if to be rewarded for his overall efforts, Dominguez guided Tom Mina and Suzann Bobley’s Uncle T Seven to an easy 3½-length victory in the Times Square Division of the New York Stallion Stakes for three-year-old New York-breds, covering six furlongs in 1:12.58 on the sloppy/sealed track. It was the second victory in seven starts for the John Morrison-trained son of Freud, who returned $5.70 as the favorite of 3,157 fans.

In the Park Avenue Division for three-year-old state-bred fillies, Dominguez glided home with Obviously New York Stable’s favored Mother Russia, who led all the way for a 4¾-length victory in 1:13.19. Trained by Linda Rice, the Mayakovsky filly has now won three of five career starts. This one was worth $3.50 to the $2 win players.

Meanwhile, Gary Contessa won his fourth straight leading trainer title with 56 wins, well ahead of runner-up Bruce Levine (33).

While there is no live racing Monday and Tuesday, Aqueduct will be open for simulcasting. There is no parking or admission charge and gates open at 11 a..m.

Racing, along with track announcer Tom Durkin, will return to Aqueduct’s main track on Wednesday, April 1.

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