Jockey Jose Ortiz wrapped up the Saratoga riding title and then finished off the meet with a win in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes aboard Practical Joke to earn the Shuffle Bean Coffee Jockey of the Week award for August 29 – September 5. 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 had a memorable closing week at Saratoga as he led North America with 18 wins and earnings of $1,139,594. Three of those wins came in stakes races highlighted by the Grade 1 Hopeful on Labor Day.
The Puerto Rican born rider broke well with Practical Joke and allowed the pacesetters to dictate terms while saving ground along the rail. Ortiz tracked the leaders into the turn where he went three wide into the stretch and rallied to prevail by a neck.
The 22-year-old secured his first riding title at Saratoga by finishing 8 wins ahead of his older brother and defending champ Irad.
Ortiz clinched the title with a week of consistent riding as he won with 32% and came in the money on 50% of his mounts from 18 wins, 7 seconds, and 3 third place finishes.
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.