With three graded stakes wins and three second place finishes on the first Saturday in May, Jose Ortiz was named the Jockeys’ Guild Foundation Detox Jockey of the Week for April 30 – May 6, 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.
Though voters were torn between Ortiz and Mike Smith, winner of the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1) aboard Justify, Ortiz’ overall stakes record on the same day prevailed.
Ortiz won three stakes races, all graded, and all on the same card. He also finished second in his other three stakes starts that day, alternating between first and second in his six graded stakes appearances on Kentucky Derby day at Churchill Downs.
Ortiz’ first stakes win of the day came in the $300,000 Humana Distaff (G1) aboard American Gal ($7.80); they cleared the field by two lengths as the third favorite for trainer Simon Callaghan.
He picked up his second stakes win in the eighth race, the $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes presented by Twinspires.com (G2) aboard Limousine Liberal ($10.80). The third-choice duo narrowly defeated Luis Contreras and Warrior’s Club for trainer Ben Colebrook.
The alternating second-place finishes began in the seventh race, the $300,000 Longines Churchill Distaff (G2). Ortiz and On Leave finished second as the second choice to John Velazquez and Proctor’s Ledge in a deep field of turf milers.
His next second-place finish came in the ninth race, the $300,000 American Turf Stakes presented by Ram Trucks (G2). With all favorites off the board, Ortiz and Untamed Domain finished in a dead heat for second with Florent Geroux and Captivating Moon, both a length and a half behind the winning pair, John Velazquez and Maraud.
Ortiz’ final start of the day came in the $2,192,000 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1). His Derby mount was Good Magic, the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner who earned the majority of his qualifying points in his Blue Grass Stakes (G2) win at Keeneland in April. Ortiz and Good Magic sat off the pace set by Promises Fulfilled before chasing the winner, Justify. Ortiz and Good Magic held off the well-timed closing run of Audible to hold second by a head, over two lengths behind Justify. Though Good Magic’s morning line odds were in double digits, the colt was bet down to 9-1, the sixth choice in the field of twenty.
With $1,409,288 in earnings last week, Ortiz was second among all North American jockeys by total earnings, and he was second by stakes earnings, with $1,290,530. His 2018 earnings total is $8,056,339 in 515 starts; in his career to date, he has earned over $107 million.
Last week, Ortiz won five of his 20 starts for a 25% win rate; he finished in the money on 55% of his mounts. Lifetime, he has won 1,514 of his 8,225 starts.
Ortiz was named an Eclipse Award finalist for Outstanding Jockey of 2017. For the first time, Ortiz led all North American jockeys by earnings for the year, with $27,318,875. He also won the Belmont Stakes, his first classic, aboard Tapwrit.
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