Saratoga Press Release

Jockey of the Week Irad Ortiz Jr.
Skip Dickstein photo.

Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. notched his second Angel Cordero, Jr. award for leading jockey as the 40-day meet concluded Monday, Labor Day, at the Spa.

Ortiz, Jr. won his second consecutive individual meet title, as he was the jockey, respectively, in the Belmont Park spring/summer meet. Ortiz, Jr. ended the two-year reign of brother Jose Ortiz at Saratoga by registering 52 wins and earnings of more than $4.5 million. He outdistanced Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, whose 43 wins were second, in registering his first Saratoga crown since he won 57 in 2015.

Ortiz, Jr. piloted Diversify to victory in the Grade 1 Whitney on August 4 while also riding Call Paul in a win in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special on August 12. He capped his meet riding Qurbaan to a win in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch on Monday.

“I feel great. It’s so exciting,” Ortiz, Jr. said. “We worked really hard to win the title and now we can enjoy it. My agent, Steve Rushing, did such a great job and all the owners and trainers who gave me an opportunity. Without them it wouldn’t have been possible. I won on a lot of nice horses this summer. Diversify winning the Whitney was a top moment. but they were all special.”