Reigning Eclipse champions Ramon
Dominquez and Todd Pletcher once again dominated The New York Racing
Association, Inc. circuit in 2011, with Dominguez capturing his third straight
NYRA riding title and Pletcher repeating as top trainer.
Dominquez, 35, capped 2011 with his 321st NYRA victory on
New Year’s Eve at Aqueduct Racetrack, well ahead of runner-up Cornelio
Velasquez, who finished the year with 193 winners. Javier Castellano was third
with 170 victories.
In 2011, Dominguez set a NYRA record for consecutive winners when he
won seven straight races spanning Wednesday, December 14 and Thursday, December
15 at the Big A. On June 5 at Belmont
Park, he became the first
jockey to win six races on a single NYRA card since Shaun Bridgmohan
accomplished that feat at Aqueduct on February 15, 1998. Dominguez had two
five-win days, on January 8 and November 24, and rode four winners on a single
card seven times.
Additionally, Dominguez led the nation’s riders in earnings for
the second straight year with winnings of $20,264,822. New York mainstay John Velazquez finished
second in purses earned nationally with $18,622,964, while Castellano was third
nationally with $15,675,977.
All but 27 of Dominguez’s victories came in New York and included
Grade 1 wins in the Woodward and Beldame with Havre de Grace, the Flower Bowl
Invitational with Stacelita, and the Spinaway with Grace Hall. He also won his
second Breeders’ Cup event, taking the Grade 1 Juvenile at Churchill
Downs with Hansen.
“I am very pleased with the way the year went,” said
Dominguez, who lives in Floral Park,
N.Y. with his wife Sharon and
sons Alexander and Matthew. “Winning the Woodward with Havre de Grace was
very special to me, and I was very happy also to win a Breeders’ Cup
Pletcher had another outstanding year in New York with 118 winners, 33 more than
runner-up Rudy Rodriguez. His 24 NYRA stakes wins included Grade 1 victories in
the Travers with Stay Thirsty, the Ogden Phipps with Awesome Maria, the
Prioress with Her Smile, the Ballerina with Hilda’s Passion and the
Mother Goose with Buster’s Ready. Pletcher also led the nation in
earnings with $17,186,956.
“I would say the winning the Travers and having a strong Saratoga
meet are two things that stand out,” said Pletcher, who won
his eighth Saratoga meet title and set a new season record, earning the H.
Allen Jerkens training title with 38 winners. “It was a good, consistent
year from beginning to end. Leading the nation in earnings and in graded stakes
wins  is a great accomplishment for our team.”
Flying Zee Stables, now headed by Viane Lizza following the death of
her husband Carl on July 8, won its second leading owner title in New York with 59
winners. The stable, perennially among the top 10, was leading owner in New York in 2004.