Leading by number of total and stakes wins and picking up a meet title to boot, Irad Ortiz, Jr. was voted Jockeys’ Guild Foundation Detox Jockey of the Week title for April 16 – 22, 2018. 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.
Irad Ortiz, Jr. was the leading rider by wins last week, won more stakes races than any other North American jockey, and won his second straight riding title for the spring meet at Aqueduct. He ended the brief meet with 24 wins and $1.2 million in earnings.
While several jockeys won two stakes races last week, only Ortiz won four, including three consecutive stakes races at Charles Town on the undercard for the $1,200,000 Charles Town Classic.
The rest of the field was no match for Ortiz and Shaft of Light ($2.60), the heavy favorite shipping in from Gulfstream in the $50,000 Russell Road Stakes. The pair cleared the field in an easy five-length victory in Ortiz’ first stakes start of the day. Ortiz retuned to win the next two stakes. First, he and 8-year-old Delta Bluesman ($3.40) cruised home by seven lengths in the $35,000 Caixa Eletronica Stakes. He completed the hat trick with a win in the $85,000 Robert Hilton Memorial Stakes aboard Midnight Poker ($5.20).
For fun, Ortiz returned to Aqueduct on Sunday and won three more races, including the $100,000 Memories of Silver Stakes with Significant Form ($2.30)
With 16 wins, Ortiz had more victories than any other jockey, earned a 40% win rate and finished in the money on half of his mounts. He had 40 starts at three different tracks: Aqueduct, Charles Town and Parx. Ortiz is 131 for 529 this year and has won 1,879 lifetime races.
Ortiz was the second leading rider by earnings, with $678,252 earned last week. He was third by stakes earnings, picking up $179,820 in six stakes starts. In 2018 he has earned $6,305,834 to date and his career earnings exceed $122 million.
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