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Breeders Cup 2015

Deep Jockey Colony at Saratoga

It should be no surprise that Saratoga Race Course, which boasts a strong daily purse distribution and the finest stakes program in North America, has attracted a deep colony of jockeys.


Ramon Dominguez has won the last nine riding titles at NYRA racetracks, and the native of Venezuela is vying for his second consecutive Saratoga championship. Currently the leading jockey in North America in both wins and earnings, Dominguez has ample competition this year at the Spa.


“I’m super happy to have been able to come to New York and do this well consistently,” said Dominguez. “I’m blessed to get so much support from so many people. Saratoga is very challenging. There’s a lot of pressure because we always have to be our best.”


His competition includes five riders who have combined to win eight Eclipse Awards for Outstanding Jockey, with Kent Desormeaux (1989, 1992), John Velazquez (2004-05), and Garrett Gomez (2007-08) having won the award twice. The other jockeys at Saratoga to have received the award are Edgar Prado (2006) and Julien Leparoux (2009).


Desormeaux, who twice came within one race of sweeping the Triple Crown, won last year’s Grade 1, $1 million Travers, the centerpiece of the Saratoga meeting, aboard Summer Bird. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004, Desormeaux is ranked fifth among all riders with nearly $264 million in earnings.


Velazquez has won the Saratoga title twice and his 65 wins in 2004 remain course a record. Prado has also won two titles at the Spa while Gomez, who has led the nation in earnings the past four years, and Leparoux will try to top the standings for the first time.


Calvin Borel, winner of three of the last six Triple Crown races, looks to add another page to his storybook career this year at the Spa. The native of Louisiana won the 2007 Travers with Street Sense, and last year guided the eventual Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra to her history-making victory in the Woodward.


The colony also includes Robby Albarado, who was the regular rider of the all-time North American earnings leader Curlin; the Bridgmohan brothers, Shaun and Jermaine; 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Jorge Chavez; 2008 Belmont Stakes and Saratoga title winner Alan Garcia; Alex Solis, who is plying his trade at Saratoga for the first time after competing in Southern California for most of his career; Cornelio Velasquez, the leading jockey at the Spa in 2007; Eibar Coa; David Cohen; Jose Espinoza; Pablo Fragoso; Channing Hill; Michael Luzzi; Rajiv Maragh; Miguel Mena; Jean-Luc Samyn; Victor Santiago; Maylan Studart; and apprentices Freddie Lenclud, Antonio Lopez, and Jaime Rodriguez.




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