Horse racing suffered two losses this week, one through retirement and one because of death.
Ramon Dominguez announced he was retiring from riding because of serious injuries he suffered in January at Aqueduct. He was not only one of the country’s best jockeys but, by all accounts, a truly decent and classy person. It is another reminder of the risks the human participants in this sport take every time they get on the back of a thoroughbred. We hope that there will be another role for him in the racing business.
The other loss was the passing of former Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci because of ALS. Cellucci’s interest in racing came to light when his publicly-released tax returns showed income reported on a W-2G. In states such as New York and Kentucky, success in wagering on horses may be viewed positively, but in a place like Massachusetts there is an exotic – if not slightly degenerate – aspect to a fondness for the track. Cellucci was also a decent guy who never strayed too far from his working class routes growing up near Worcester, never losing an election as a Republican in the bluest of states.