Ramón Alfredo Domínguez
The Caracas native who shocked the equestrian world with his talent and exalted Venezuela.
Born on November 24, 1976 in the Venezuelan Capital, the son of Alfredo Domínguez and Belkys Del Moral de Domínguez, never thought he would go so far.
From a young age he proved to be a fan of horse racing.
His family lived in the state of Aragua during the first years of the athlete’s life.
There his equine passion begins to take shape. In fact, being in that region of the country he buys a pregnant mare with a cousin.
In the company of a cousin, they pay Bs. 3,000.
Ramon used to ride it at times.
“I remember that he did not use a chair, and from then on I thought that he had the conditions to become a rider one day,” commented his father Alfredo on one occasion, “although at first I was opposed to him being a rider, later I supported him in every way.”
“I remember that he did not use a chair, and from then on I thought that he had the conditions to become a rider one day,” said his father Alfredo on one occasion, “although at first I was opposed to him being a rider, later I supported him in every way.”
Ramon Alfredo Dominguez
The first person he sees riding the Caracas native is former jockey Félix Sabino Pérez.
To all these Ramón Alfredo Domínguez takes his initial steps in the Casupito Training Center, in Villa de Cura.
It should be noted that in that place there was a riding school whose teacher was “Pino” Francisco Martínez.
He graduated from high school at the age of 16 and then traveled to the Hippodrome of Paraguaná, in Punto Fijo, Falcón state.
That stage of his life is hard, since he lived in a small bar, next to a pig, carrying sacks and cleaning horses.
Later he continued his studies at the María Blanca Training Center, where in a year he finished perfecting his skills.
However, it is in that period that he receives help from coach Luis Fontes, breeder Rafael Rodríguez Navarro (President at that time of the National Institute of Hippodromes) and ex-jockey Antonio José Utrera.
Ramón Alfredo Domínguez obtains the registration as a rider and his secretary is “Topo Gigio” Luis Moreno.
The Creole achieves his first triumph with the mare Lady Mercy, an example trained by Luis Francisco Martín, on March 25, 1995 at the Hipódromo La Rinconada.
However, the Caracas native wanted to go for more and his sights were set on the United States.
The North American circuits had become the challenge to be overcome by this jockey.
Travel to the United States
Prior to his trip to North America, the Creole says goodbye to Venezuela with a triumph over Sinless.
The horse was trained by Daniel Perez.
After his departure the talent grows and the expectations with this young jockey are more than exceeded.
By 1996 he was racing on American soil and got his first win in March with Solo Moondance at Hialeah Park, Florida.
During that year he achieved 55 victories. And the good was about to begin.
His career booms and he remains a winning jockey at Delaware Park during the years 1997 and 1998.
By 1999 he surpassed the barrier of 100 wins.
He finishes the season with 121 wins and more than 3 million dollars.
But it is in the year 2000 when his potential is maximized by winning 360 times.
That year he won his first classic, the 2000 Royal North Stakes, with the horse Confessional.
The rise of the Venezuelan continues to increase, it does not stop for nothing … It is advancing by leaps and bounds.
Accident and retirement
The spectacular career of this Venezuelan athlete is overshadowed by a fall that almost takes his life.
A skull fracture, which kept him held in the Intensive Care Unit of a New York hospital, put an end to the Creole whip.
It was the year 2013 and the Caracas native won the Eclipse Award again as best rider.
Only this time he could not receive him in person, but in his honor, jockeys Javier Castellano (Venezuela) and John Velázquez (Puerto Rico) were there who received him for him.
Both athletes thanked the gesture and dedicated words of encouragement to the relatives of the great Caracas.
He was later awarded the Laffit Pincay Jr. Award, a prize awarded by the Jockey’s Guild for his performance during the 2012 campaign.
By June 2013 the rider had managed to rehabilitate himself and everyone expected him to return to racing, however, he announced his retirement.
The reason was obvious, if he fell again and hit his skull the consequences would be worse.
So, with all the pain involved in the decision he opts for his life and says goodbye to his career as a jockey.
Ramón Alfredo Domínguez earned the respect and admiration of American hip-hop.
He said goodbye with his head held high and 16 spectacular seasons, time in which he rode 21,267 thoroughbreds in the different racetracks of that country.
He earned 4,985 wins, 3,855 second places, 3,159 third places in addition to a production of $191,615,697 for horse owners.
A figure that ranked it 14th all-time in money production.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame
After a sports career like that they decide that this Venezuelan, Ramón Alfredo Domínguez, must receive the highest honor.
Thus, on April 25, 2016, Ramón Alfredo Domínguez receives a well-deserved place in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Being the first rider from Venezuela to receive such an award.
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La entrada Ramón Alfredo Domínguez first Venezuelan rider in the Hall of Fame se publicó primero en Gustavo Mirabal Castro.