At the Gate - Friday
June 14, 2013
By Mike Dempsey
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It was a sad day yesterday as jockey Ramon Dominguez announced he would retire, unable to come back from injuries he suffered in a spill on Jan. 18 at Aqueduct. Dominguez spent three weeks in the hospital recovering from a brain injury.
Dominguez released this statement:
“Riding thoroughbreds has always been my passion and my calling. When I was 13 and watched my first horse race in Venezuela, I knew that I would become a jockey, and my riding career has brought happiness and success beyond what I ever expected.
Thus, it is extremely difficult for me to announce that due to the severity of the injuries I sustained in an accident at Aqueduct Racetrack on January 18, 2013, my professional riding career has come to an end. While I hoped and even expected to be able to return to the saddle, as a result of my injuries and upon the advice of my treating physicians, it has been determined that I will no longer be able to pursue my career as a jockey.
I want to personally thank my family, fans, and fellow riders for overwhelming support in the months since my accident. I chose to make this statement to end speculation about my future, but I am not yet ready to speak publicly. I will come forward on my own, but in the meantime I ask that you please respect my privacy as I continue my recovery.”
Dominguez won 4,985 races in his career and won the last three Eclipse Awards for Outstanding Jockey.
We have a 3:00 ET post time this afternoon at Belmont Park and as I expected we are off the turf today.
Click here to purchase my full card report for Belmont Park for Friday.
Here is today’s opening from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 OClm $25,000N1X (3:00 ET)
2 Secret Union 2-1
6 Hey Babe 5-2
5 Greed and Fear 3-1
4 Belle Gallantey 5-1
Analysis: Secret Union exits the road Princess where she checked in third behind a pair of talented fillies in Kauai Katie and Kelli Got Frosti. She drops in with Alw-1 foes here while adding lasix. She should be able to handle this group and she has a decent enough off track pedigree if the track is still wet this afternoon.
Hey Babe pressed the early pace, took over the lead and finished gamely to hold on by a nose to beat $50,000 starter allowance foes. The mare bounced back nicely after rearing up at the start and finishing a distant sixth two back in the slop going a mile against $50,000 starter optional claimers. She owns the top last out speed fig and Rosario takes the call.
WIN: #2 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 2,6 / 2,5,6
TRI: no play
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 8 OClm $35,000N3L (6:36 ET)
3 Moment in Dixie 9-5
5 Heir to Dare 6-1
1 Well Kept 3-1
2 Celebrity Sighting 15-1
Analysis: Moment in Dixie is one of three in here coming off an extended layoff. The filly was last seen checking in fourth in the restricted Raging Fever at the Big A last November. She won her first two career starts and then ran second in a couple of stakes last summer. She has put in a couple of bullet drills for her return for the Toner barn that is 2 for 8 with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff. This looks like a good spot for her return here facing non-winners of three.
Heir to Dare also comes back off the bench, making her last start last July against Alw-2 optional claimers. The mare picked up her win against Alw-1 foes over the main track here and note that was over a wet track which she may see again here. She sports a solid looking work tab for the underrated Mareina barn.
WIN: #3 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 3,5 / 1,2,3,5
TRI: 3,5 / 1,2,3,5 / 1,2,3,5,7
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R3: #4 Isn’t He Perfect 12-1
R5: #1 General Logan 8-1
R7: #1 Need an Angel 8-1
R8: #2 Celebrity Sighting 15-1
R9: #9 Amazing Abby 12-1
R9: #1 Bi Light of Day 12-1
Good luck today!
HORSE RACING EXPERT
Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders’ Cup.
Last Year Mike had a solid Triple Crown, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick.
Mike has also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively.
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