HUNGRY RIDERS HAVE APPETITE FOR BULLRING
When it comes to riding the bullrings, Caesar Dominguez says you
can keep your Hall of Fame riders.
Give him the kids with the eye of the tiger, who have the
passion and determination to ride the 5/8-mile Pomona oval like
they know the back of their hands.
"I'm one of those trainers who really enjoys running at Pomona,"
says the 48-year-old El Paso native, who was the leading trainer
at Fairplex Park in 1992.
"Some trainers don't enjoy it, but my horses always seem to run
good. I usually get lucky and pick a jockey who rides good at
Caesar's luck abandoned him in the Barretts Debutante on Sept.
21, when Laffit Pincay Jr., riding 6-5 favorite Balisian Beauty,
almost went down on the first turn. The 50-year-old rider,
winningest active jockey with 8,554 victories, 279 behind leader
Bill Shoemaker's record 8,833, never gave up in the 6 1/2
furlong race, however.
Some 16 lengths behind at the half-mile pole and 13 behind with
a quarter of a mile remaining, Pincay unleashed a furious rally
aboard the 2-year-old filly, who missed by a nose. Had the photo
finish been any closer, it would have been a dead-heat.
"I told Laffit not to pick this filly's head up," Dominguez said
after the heart-breaking defeat. "If you do, she's going to blow
the turn. Just give this filly her head and turn her loose. She
should have won by 10 lengths."
Pincay, usually very accommodating for interviews after a race,
had a terse "no comment" for one reporter.
Dominguez was still licking his wounds the next day, but was not
malicious or vindictive when he recounted his decision.