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Get to Know Top Jockey Jose Ortiz

Jose Ortiz is one of the most celebrated jockeys riding today. His mounts have crossed the wire first more than 10,800 times and he has been the regular rider for magnificent horses like Yoshida, Elate, Oscar Performance, Coal Front, Good Magic, and La Verdad among countless others.

Get to know more about this leading rider with these ten facts:

  1. Jose Ortiz was born in Puerto Rico and graduated from the Escuela Vocacional Hipica jockeys school. He began riding at sixteen years old and has never stopped.

  2. Ortiz comes from a family of jockeys. His grandfather, uncle, and year-older brother Irad Ortiz Jr. have all piloted racehorses.

  3. He came to the United States to ride at Parx Racing in 2012 and soon relocated to Aqueduct Race Track in New York.

  4. According to Keeneland, both Jose Ortiz and his brother Irad Ortiz Jr. are mentored by Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr.. Cordero is another Puerto Rico native and the first jockey from that country to be elected into the United States’ Hall of Fame.

  5. Ortiz won his first Classic race aboard Tapwrit in the 2017 Belmont Stakes. He finished second in the next two editions of the Belmont, first with Gronkowski in 2018 and then with Tacitus in 2019.

  6. He has yet to win the Kentucky Derby, but ran second to Justify with Good Magic in 2018 and third with Tacitus in 2019. He won the Kentucky Oaks aboard Serengeti Empress in 2019.

  7. Jose Ortiz has been quite successful at the Breeders’ Cup. He has won the Juvenile Turf twice, first with Oscar Performance in 2016 and then with Structor in 2019. He also piloted Good Magic to a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile victory in 2017. He has hit the board in Breeders’ Cup races nine other times.

  8. Ortiz has performed exceptionally well during Saratoga’s prestigious Summer Meet in upstate New York and was the leading rider in 2016, 2017, and 2019.

  9. Ortiz made his first appearance on the Dubai World Cup card in 2019, piloting Coal Front to a victory in the Godolphin Mile and Plus Que Parfait to victory in the UAE Derby. He had to miss the 2020 Dubai World Cup after fracturing his wrist during a post parade at Gulfstream Park.

  10. Jose Ortiz won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 2017.

[Video: Watch this TVG look at the life of Jose Ortiz]


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