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Dec 10, 2010

Veteran riders to remain at Aqueduct


Ozone Park, NY (Sports Network) - Winter racing at Aqueduct usually means a loss of the many veteran jockeys who ride in New York the rest of the year.

However, this winter a solid group of top riders will continue to accept mounts at the Queens County oval.

Heading the roster is leading jockey Ramon Dominguez. Through the end of November Dominguez is topping the nation with 344 victories and earnings of $16,685,271. He has been the leading jockey for 11 of the last 12 New York Racing Association meets. Dominguez will go after his fourth consecutive Aqueduct winter racing crown. He is the regular jockey for champion racehorse Gio Ponti.

Also continuing to race at Aqueduct will be David Cohen, C.C. Lopez, Channing Hill, and Jorge Chavez. Cohen has won 181 races this year with earnings of more than $6.5 million. Lopez has earned better than $3.1 million in 2010 with 78 victories. Hill is approaching $3 million in earnings this year with wins on 75 mounts. Chavez, who has won more than 4400 career races, has lifetime earnings of $160 million.

Top flight jockeys also remaining are Cornelio Velasquez and Hall of Famer Edgar Prado. In 2010 Velasquez has won 129 races for $6.9 million. Prado, who entered the Hall of Fame in 2008, has 112 victories this year for more than $6.8 million.

New names expected to ride during the winter at Aqueduct are Junior Alvarado, Eurico Rosa da Silva and apprentice rider Brian Pedroza.

Alvarado has earnings of more than $3 million in 2010 with 122 victories. He was the 2009 champion jockey at Arlington Park. Alvarado won this year's Beverly D. Stakes aboard Eclair de Lune on Arlington Million Day.

Da Silva led all riders at Woodbine this year and has won 187 races in 2010 for $8.9 million. He also rode 10 stakes winners at Woodbine this year, including his second straight Queen's Plate victory.

"Right now, I just want to focus on riding," the native of Brazil said about being the top jock at Woodbine. "I don't want to know how many wins I have. But it's tough because I know when I have the chance to let it sink in, it will be amazing."

Pedroza, who has been riding in the mid-Atlantic region, will get a seven- pound break in weights. He has earned $497,900 this year with 34 victories and is the son of veteran California jockey Martin Pedroza.

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