The leading rider by number of wins, stakes victories and total earnings, Irad Ortiz, Jr. was named Jockeys’ Guild Foundation Detox Jockey of the Week for February 11-18, 2019. 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. Jockey of the Week is sponsored by FoundationDetox.com, America’s #1 Equine Toxin Remover.
Six was the magic number for Irad Ortiz, Jr. last week; the jockey won six stakes races over the weekend and won six races in a single card at Gulfstream.
Ortiz went into the Monday card at Gulfstream with 16 wins already for the week and a mount in each of the 12 races scheduled at Gulfstream; the holiday racing card featured 11 starter stakes. He visited the winner’s circle for five stakes races and capped off the day with a win in the final race, a maiden special weight event.
His wins on the card represented five different trainers and their combined margins of victory totaled over 10 lengths. Four of his winning mounts were the post-time favorite, and two were the second choice: Lucky Long ($3.60) in the $60,000 Mary Todd, Wildwood Dancer ($4.80) in the $60,000 Rail Splitter, Midtown Rose ($4.40) in the $60,000 Queen Mother, Zulu ($6.20) in the $60,000 Old Hickory, Your Only Man ($6.20) in the $60,000 Old Man Eloquent, and Souper Jaguar ($5.80) in the maiden race.
Ortiz finished in the money in five more stakes on the card; his worst result for the day was a single off the board finish in fifth place.
In addition to his six-win achievement, Ortiz also scored a graded stakes victory on Gulfstream’s Saturday card, winning the $150,000 Royal Delta Stakes (G3) aboard Blamed ($3.80) in a dirt mile for older fillies and mares. With 93 wins, Ortiz is the leading rider of the current Gulfstream Park meet, which runs through March 31.
Ortiz earned $308,483 in stakes earnings last week and was the leading rider by total earnings, with $754,573. He has earned $5,537,353 to date in 2019 and nearly $150 million in his career.
Of his 55 mounts, he won 22, more than any other North American jockey last week, at a rate of 40%. He finished in the money on 82% of his starts, including 12 runner-up positions.
Ortiz was recently honored with an Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey, and he led all North American jockeys in 2018 by earnings and wins.
Statistics used in this week’s ballot included Monday, February 11 through the Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday, February 18.
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