Just a week after a successful return to riding, Jose Ortiz won two stakes at Gulfstream and was voted Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for the week ending January 7, 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 Animal Element’s Foundation Detox and Product X Performance Enhancer.
Jose Ortiz recently returned to the track following knee surgery on December 3, 2017. He won his first start back at Gulfstream on December 28, and followed up his return with an impressive week to start the new year, winning two stakes, leading all North American jockeys by total earnings, and winning more races than any other jockey for the week.
Ortiz had mounts in three stakes races on the Saturday Gulfstream card. He won the $75,000 Limehouse Stakes in the third race aboard Piven ($4.20), winning easily by four lengths for trainer Kevin Attard. He finished sixth in the Glitter Woman stakes but returned in the ninth race to win the $100,000 Ginger Brew Stakes aboard 3-year-old filly Thewayiam ($13.00) for Graham Motion.
With $246,845 in earnings last week, Ortiz led all North American jockeys, and he was fourth by stakes earnings, with $105,685. His 2018 earnings total is nearly $300,000 in 39 starts, and even with missing most of the final month of the year, he ended 2017 as the leading jockey by earnings. In his career to date, he has earned just over $100 million.
Ortiz was also the leading North American jockey by number of wins last week, with eight victories in 32 starts, for a 25% win rate. He was in the money on 44% of his mounts, including three second-place finishes and three third-place finishes. He has won 1,430 of his lifetime 7,749 starts.
Ortiz was recently 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.
Due to holiday racing schedules for the New Year’s Day holiday weekend, statistics used for this week’s ballot included Tuesday, January 2 through Sunday, January 7.