Irad Ortiz Jr. won 12 races this week, including the Alydar Stakes at Saratoga to earn $631,017. The run of success made him the first repeat winner as the JockeyTalk360.com Jockey of the Week. The title goes to the week’s outstanding jockey in the opinion of a panel of industry experts. They looked at races run from August 11-17. Ortiz previously won the title for the week of July 28-August 3.
Underscoring his achievements this week, he won three races in three starts on Saturday, rewarding his fans with an average $2 win mutuel of $27.53. His 12 winning mounts for the week were worth an average $13.88 payoff. He is leading the Saratoga meet in earnings and number of stakes wins.
Ortiz, who also celebrated his 22nd birthday this week, is a graduate of Puerto Rico’s Escuela Vocacional Hipica, a school for prospective jockeys. His grandfather and an uncle are also jockeys. His younger brother, Jose Ortiz, is also a top-ranked jockey.
He was following in the footsteps of his idol, Angel Cordero Jr. when he set out for New York, saying, “I wanted to ride against the best jockeys.”
In winning the Alydar Stakes on Farhaan, he upset Grade I winner and stablemate Alpha, who finished third. Ortiz and Farhaan were the longest odds on the board at 7.9-1.
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 Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of America’s Best Racing, the Daily Racing Form, Equibase, 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.
Check the chart, presented by Equibase.