Sunday was a big day in the rehabilitation program of Eclipse Award winning jockey Ramon Dominguez. The three-time champion jockey made his first visit back to Aqueduct Racetrack since suffering a skull fracture in January.
"I've been thinking about coming to say 'hello,' but I just haven't been able to find the time," said Dominguez. "It was great seeing my valet, all the other valets, and my friends. Everyone is happy to see me, and (I'm happy) to see them as well."
Dominguez was injured when his mount, Convocation, appeared to clip heels with the eventual winner, Sovereign Default. during the running of the seventh race on Jan. 18 at Aqueduct. The jockey was unseated when his mount stumbled and fell.
The champion rider has a doctor's appointment on Monday, March 25 when he expects to receive a timetable to resume riding.
"I'm pretty optimistic that he will find me good enough to come back," said Dominguez. "From that point on, if he OKs me, it will just be a matter of getting fit again, and that shouldn't take too long. I'm speculating, but it depends on what they say, and on the 25th we'll see.
"Unless they're lying to me, everyone is happy not only with my condition but with the progress I've made in a short period of time. In the beginning, I felt like, 'I'm OK! I don't need this!' but right away I realized I was getting a lot of help from all of the different types of exercises.
"I miss (riding) a lot, but the truth is that I've tried not to follow or watch too many races. I've probably watched enough races to put on one hand just because I don't want to get too excited. I've tried to do everything by the book and listen to the doctor, so I'm definitely excited to come back soon."