After winning multiple stakes on Caribbean Cup Day and topping the leaderboard by every measure, Irad Ortiz, Jr. is the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for the week ending December 10, 2017. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America. Jockey of the Week is sponsored by Animal Element’s Foundation Detox and Product X Performance Enhancer.
With three wins in six stakes starts on Saturday, Irad Ortiz, Jr. had more stakes victories than any other North American jockey last week. All three of his stakes wins came at Gulfstream Park during Caribbean Cup Day.
First, Ortiz won the $124,000 Lady Caribbean Cup with Jaguaryu ($12.40) by 7 ¾ lengths in the seventh race. He returned in the tenth race to win the $91,200 Invitational Cup Stakes aboard Coltimus Prime ($9.60) by 2 ½ lengths. Ortiz ended the day by winning the feature race, the $300,000 Caribbean Classic Stakes with Jala Jala ($22.40), a price horse who cleared the field by nine lengths over a sealed track.
Ortiz had a strong week outside of Caribbean Cup Day. On Sunday, he finished in the exacta in all seven of his mounts at Aqueduct, with three wins and four seconds. The day before his Gulfstream appearance, he won his first four consecutive mounts at Aqueduct, including the first three races on the card. He is the leading rider of the current Aqueduct meet by both wins and earnings.
In addition to his stakes wins, Ortiz topped the standings among all North American jockeys by total earnings, with $696,926, as well as stakes earnings, with $316,466. Ortiz is currently ranked third among all North American jockeys for total earnings year to date, with over $22 million earned in 2017. His lifetime earnings total exceeds $115 million.
Ortiz also led all North American jockeys by number of wins, winning 14 races last week out of 30 starts. He had a win rate of 47% and was in the money on 80% of his mounts, including six second-place finishes and four third-place finishes. In 2017, he has won 302 of his 1,429 starts; lifetime, he is 1,732 of 9,687.
JockeyTalk360.com spotlights the riders across North America and around the world who may be the bravest, toughest and most accomplished of all athletes. The Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of America’s Best Racing, The Daily Racing Form, Equibase, Horse Racing Nation, The Jockeys’ Guild, The Paulick Report, The Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and Turf Publicists of America.