Ramon Dominguez visited Aqueduct Racetrack on Sunday for the first time since being injured in a spill at the track on January 18.
Dominguez, New York's leading rider 2009-2012, spent time in the jockeys' room and talked with members of the press, racing officials, valets, and other riders.
“I've been thinking about coming to say ‘hello,' but I just haven't been able to find the time,” said the three-time reigning Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Jockey who suffered a fractured skull in the incident. “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, 36, said he'll have a better idea of when he might be able to resume riding after a doctor's appointment on March 25.
“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.”
The rider added that he is progressing well with his physical therapy regimens.
“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,” said Dominguez. “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.”
Dominguez said that he has tried to limit his race watching so that he'll remain patient as he makes a steady recovery.
“I miss [riding] a lot, but the truth is that I've tried not to follow or watch too many races,” said Dominguez. “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.”
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