“I am very excited. Coming into today, I looked at the program and was very excited about my chances,” said Dominguez, who won on six of seven mounts. “We all know luck is a big factor. Everything clicked into place. I am very happy to win six races. At Saratoga, it’s anybody’s dream. This is a place you want to do it, for sure. Saratoga is really the meet. It doesn’t get any better than this. I give [my agent, Steve Rushing] all the credit in the world. He puts me in the position to do this consistently and do well. Then again, if you ask him, he will give all the credit to the trainers and the owners, and rightly so. I am very happy people support me.”
His next mount, Temper in Command ($8.60), closed stoutly in race 7 before Reach for a Peach ($6.90) made a determined run to take race 8, with the rolling Double paying $34.40. With his Grade 2 Sanford mount, Good Tickled, scratched, Dominguez demonstrated his sangfroid in the 10th and final race, waiting behind horses and splitting rivals in deep stretch to prevail aboard favored Wet One ($8.20).
“It was a great trip,” said Dominguez of his ride in the finale. “But turning for home, I was very concerned because it didn’t look like it was going to open up for me. I was happy my filly was in hand and ready to go right through it. Everything worked out great today.”
On June 5, 2011, Dominguez became the first jockey since Jorge Velasquez in 1981 to win six races at Belmont Park. Prior to Sunday, the last jockey to win six at a NYRA track was Corey Nakatani, who achieved the feat on October 8, 2011 at Belmont.
Through the first three days of racing at Saratoga, Dominguez leads the jockey standings with nine wins, six more than Irad Ortiz, Jr., Jose Lezcano, Rosie Napravnik, Edgar Prado, and Joel Rosario, who are tied for second. Dominguez has led the year-end NYRA jockey standings the past three years and has won 17 meet titles, topping the Saratoga jockey standings in 2009.
Velazquez, who went 6-for-10 on September 3, 2001 at Saratoga, will return to the races on Wednesday with two scheduled mounts. Sidelined since fracturing his collarbone in a June 16 spill at Churchill Downs, Velazquez looks opens defense of his riding title, named for his mentor and agent, Hall of Famer Angel Cordero, Jr.