After earning his first Gulfstream Park Championship meet riding title, Irad Ortiz, Jr. was selected as Jockeys’ Guild Foundation Detox Jockey of the Week for March 25-31, 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.
In his first season riding full-time at the Championship Meet, Irad Ortiz, Jr. clinched the riding title at Gulfstream on Sunday, March 31.
With 135 wins in the meet, he defeated two-time leading rider Luis Saez by a single victory. His performance at this year’s meet included wins in nine graded stakes wins, highlighted by a win in the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1).
Part of Ortiz’ push for the riding title happened on the penultimate day of the meet. Ortiz had a mount in each of the 14 races of the Florida Derby card, including all of the seven stakes. He ended the day with four victories, including Focus Group ($5.80) in the $250,000 Pan American Stakes (G2).
Three of his wins on Saturday were in stakes races. Combined with Friday’s win in the $100,000 Orchid Stakes (G3) on Santa Monica ($3.00), Ortiz earned a total of four stakes wins, more than any other North American jockey last week.
Ortiz also finished second in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) and was third in the Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes (G2) on Saturday.
Ortiz was the second leading rider by both stakes earnings, with $510,305, and by total earnings, adding $709,385 to his 2019 total of $7,994,231. His career earnings exceed $152 million.
With nine wins, Ortiz was the second leading rider by number wins, just one win behind Deshawn Parker, who led with 10. He finished in the money on 68% of his 37 starts.
In 2019, Ortiz has won 115 races in 467 starts; he is 2,209 for 11,834 lifetime.
The 2018 Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Jockey, Ortiz has previously earned riding titles at Aqueduct and Belmont and won his career 2,000th race in September at Belmont.
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