Eclipse Award-Winning Jockey Ramon Dominguez Has Fractured Skull

Carlos TorresContributor IJanuary 19, 2013

ARCADIA, CA - NOVEMBER 03:  Ramon Dominguez smiles in the winner's circle after riding Little Mike to victory during the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita Park on November 3, 2012 in Arcadia, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Two-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Ramon Dominguez suffered a fractured skull after being involved in a spill during the running of Friday's seventh race for claimers at Aqueduct.

As reported on, according to his agent Steve Rushing, Dominguez remained hospitalized in the intensive care unit at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition on Friday night: "Agent Steve Rushing said Dominguez's wife, Sharon, told him that results of a CT scan revealed the skull fracture. Rushing said he's been told the next '24 to 48 hours can be critical.'"

As of this moment, it remains unclear how long Dominguez would be hospitalized and when he would be able to ride again.

Before the results of a CAT scan revealed the skull fracture, it had been reported that Dominguez had originally been diagnosed with a bruise over his right eye.

Eight horses were in the race that was for claimers of $30,000 to $25,000 at a one-mile run on the inner dirt track, and Dominguez was aboard the 4/5 favorite Convocation, trained by Todd Pletcher and owned by Mike Repole.

He was running sixth in the early stage of the race, and by the half-mile pole he started to move on the front four, placing fifth behind horses.

As they reached the top of the stretch, Dominguez saw an opening between Sovereign Default—who had just taken the lead—and Punster, advancing in third on the outside, but his horse clipped heels with Sovereign Default, and Convocation fell forward and unseated Dominguez.

As Convocation and Dominguez fell, Talented Whiz was running right to his outside and appeared to have stepped over Convocation, prompting his jockey Cornelio Velasquez to loosen his feet from the clips and ease the horse.

Another horse, Straight Fax, was trailing on the inside rail and appeared to have jumped over Convocation.

It's not clear from the video if the injury to Dominguez may have come from the fall itself—in which he went down hard head first—or because of any of the other two horses that appeared to have gone over Convocation.

Dominguez was immediately placed on a stretcher and into an ambulance and taken directly to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, the closest hospital to the Aqueduct race track.

At first sight it appears as if Convocation came out of the race uninjured and was claimed by David Jacobson.

It's a very sad turn of events for Dominguez, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, coming just one day before he was set to pickup his third straight Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey on Saturday night's awards ceremony at Gulfstream Park.

Last year he set a North American thoroughbred racing earnings record with $25,582,252, a product of 341 wins from 1,398 mounts, even when he had to endure missing nearly two months of mounts.

The first time was because of a neck injury in the spring and then because of a foot injury in the fall. He returned last December 25.

Dominguez, is closing in on the 5,000-win mark—he had won race no. 4,984 earlier in the day and was sitting in second place behind Puerto Rican apprentice Jose Ortiz in the jockeys this year.