After winning five races in one day at Aqueduct and capturing two Claiming Crown victories at Gulfstream, Jose Ortiz claimed the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week honors for the week of November 28 – December 4, 2016. 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.
Ortiz, who tops the jockey standings at the Aqueduct fall meet, won five races on Friday. This marked the fourth time he has won five races on one card, each time in 2016. One of his victories came in the $100,000 King’s Swan Stakes aboard Even Thunder, nosing out his brother Irad Ortiz, Jr.
On Saturday, Ortiz appeared at Gulfstream Park for Claiming Crown and picked up two more stakes wins in the $106,700 Claiming Crown Distaff Dash and the $125,000 Claiming Crown Emerald Stakes.
In the Claiming Crown Emerald, Ortiz and post-time favorite Keystoneforvictory dueled for the lead early and fought off challengers in the stretch to win the last race of the day at the wire. Keystoneforvictory is trained by Michael Maker and owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey; Maker and the Ramseys have partnered for a record 15 Claiming Crown victories.
With more stakes wins than any North American jockey last week, Ortiz led the stakes earnings standings and was the second leading rider by overall earnings. Ortiz currently sits in third place on the North American earnings leaderboard, having earned over $22 million in 1,488 starts in 2016; in 2015, he was ranked fourth by earnings.
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.