There aren’t any better big-race riders in horse racing than Garrett Gomez, who finished second behind Ramon Dominguez in national earnings in 2010 but had 672 less mounts than the East Coast-based rider.
Dominguez, who had 1,475 mounts for earnings of $17,411,880, enjoyed a fine season, but not as good as Gomez, who had 803 mounts and earnings of $16,889,037. If Gomez had ridden even close to the number of races Dominguez did, he’d have breezed to the earnings title.
Gomez’s agent of five years, Ron Anderson, said the 39-year-old jockey has earned the right to pick and choose his mounts.
“These other guys are younger and they’re riding cheaper races and stuff,” Anderson said. “Garrett’s kind of made himself the reputation of being more of a money rider, riding in the bigger stakes, the Grade 1′s and all.”
Factor in Grade I victories and again Gomez gets the nod in the Eclipse Award race. Gomez had 10 Grade 1 victoies this past year, tied for third in the nation with Joel Rosario, behind co-leaders John Velazquez and Mike Smith, who had 12 apiece. Dominguez was not among the top six.
In graded-stakes victories through Dec. 12, Velazquez led the way with 31 and Gomez was next with 30. But again, Velazquez finished more than $100,000 behind Gomez in earnings while riding in 390 more races.
Add the fact Gomez won his fourth Bill Shoemaker Award at the 2010 Breeders’ Cup with three victories and piloted Blame to a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and it’s not even close in my eyes.
Garrett Gomez gets my Eclipse Award vote for top jockey of 2010. Velazquez is second and Dominguez third.