BALTIMORE – 5-18-12 --Jockey Ramon Dominguez will ride Tiger Walk in the 137th Preakness Stakes Saturday, replacing Kent Desormeaux, trainer Ignacio Correas IV said Friday.
Correas trains the colt for Sagamore Farm.
Desormeaux failed a Breathalyzer test at Belmont Park Friday and was removed from his three mounts on the program. He has not been suspended, but the New York State Racing and Wagering Board is conducting an investigation.
“It was a team decision,” Correas said. “Ramon is a great rider. We’re happy to have him.”
New York’s new rule that went into effect on April 27 requires every jockey named to ride to undergo a test for alcohol consumption. Mark Stuart, an attorney for the New York board, notified Maryland’s stewards that Desormeaux, 42, had failed the test.
Dominguez, 35, has won the Eclipse Award as the outstanding jockey the last two years. He led the nation in earnings in 2011 for a second straight year with a career-best $20,264,822. He was the leading rider in Maryland in three of the five years he rode in the state.
Tiger Walk will be Dominguez’ 10th Preakness mount. His best finishes were seconds aboard Scrappy T in 2005 and First Dude in 2010.
“I’m excited to ride the horse, not necessarily the way it happened. I’m happy that they chose me to ride this horse,” Dominguez said. “I know very little (about him). I rode against him a couple of times in New York, and I will have to go look at a couple of replays to take a look at his running style.”