Jockey Jose Ortiz won the riding title at the Aqueduct winter meeting that concluded last week and hasn’t missed a beat since racing has moved to the main track for the spring meeting. His five-win day on Saturday helped him bring home the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week Award. 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 is off to a flying start at the Aqueduct spring meet as he capped off a nine-win week with five of those wins coming on Saturday afternoon. Aqueduct carded an entire program of Starter Stakes for various claiming levels with purses ranging from $50,000 to $90,000 per event making it five stakes victories for Ortiz on the day.
The younger of the two Ortiz brothers, who sit in the top two positions of the rider standings, now has his second five-win day on the New York circuit. Jose recently won five races on March 6th of this year at Aqueduct and was named the Jockey of The Week for that effort as well.
The brothers, who live together, are supportive of each other’s quest to succeed. Irad Ortiz Jr. came to New York in the spring of 2011 and his little brother wasn’t far behind. Jose Ortiz then came in the early part of 2012 to Parx and eventually joined his brother in New York.
“I want the best for him, and he just told me, ‘I want to be in New York and be a New York rider,”’ Irad Ortiz Jr. said. “I said, ‘Come and I’ll help you because you’re my brother,’ and I’m going to help him every time.”
Ortiz finished this week with nine wins from 19 mounts, adding three second place finishes and three thirds. His total earnings for the week were $383,660.
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, 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.