Jockey Ramon Dominguez celebrated his 36th birthday with three stakes wins at Aqueduct on Saturday, including a thrilling victory for Stay Thirsty by a nose over the filly Groupie Doll in the $350,000 Cigar Mile.
Dominguez also brought home Overanalyze in the $250,000 Remsen for 2-year-olds and Dance Card in the $350,000 Gazelle for 3-year-old fillies.
Dominguez wasn’t the only one celebrating a stakes hat trick. The team of trainer Todd Pletcher and owner Mike Repole also sent out three winners: Stay Thirsty, Overanalyze and Unlimited Budget in the $250,000 Demoiselle for 2-year-old fillies with John Velazquez aboard.
Dominguez, Aqueduct’s leading rider, finished with five wins on the card.
Stay Thirsty went out a winner in his final race. The 4-year-old will be retired to stud with a record of five wins in 17 starts. The Cigar Mile was his first victory since the 2011 Travers Stakes at Saratoga, and he needed an all-out effort to edge Groupie Doll, the lone filly in the five-horse field.
Fresh from her win in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, Groupie Doll was the even-money favorite. She battled her way to the front in the stretch, only to be nailed at the finish line in the photo finish.
”Groupie Doll was game,” Dominguez said. ”She was hard to get by.”
The time was 1 minute, 35.47 seconds.
Stay Thirsty, the 5-2 second choice, paid $7.50 for a $2 win bet.
Coil was third. Buffum was fourth, followed by Hymn Book.
Overanalyze also won by a nose in the Remsen for his third win in five starts, holding off Normandy Invasion. The 8-5 favorite, Overanalyze paid $5.50 to win and earned 10 points under the new qualifying system to determine starters in next year’s Kentucky Derby. The time was 1:50.13 for the 1-1/8 miles.
Unlimited Budget improved to 2 for 2 in the Demoiselle, beating Emollient, the 4-5 favorite, by 1-1/4 lengths. She ran the 1-1/8 miles in 1:52.16 and paid $4.10 to win.
Dance Card beat Sea Island by four lengths in the Gazelle while continuing her habit of drifting out extremely wide during the stretch run. It didn’t matter as she was well clear, on her way to a fourth win in five starts. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Dance Card paid $5.30 to win as the 8-5 favorite. The time was 1:50.39 for 1-1/8 miles.