Stakes Triple, 11 Winners Lead To Jockey Of The Week Title For Irad Ortiz, Jr. - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Stakes Triple, 11 Winners Lead To Jockey Of The Week Title For Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Kalik, trained by Chad Brown

Reigning Eclipse Award jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. did some travelling on Friday. After riding the first two races of the day at Belmont Park, he ventured the 180 miles to Penn National Race Course for Friday evening's 11-race card. Ortiz proceeded to win two stakes races including the Grade 2 Penn Mile. Ortiz then headed back to his home track for Saturday's card where he won the G2 Pennine Ridge.

The panel of racing experts voted Ortiz the honor of Jockey of the Week for May 30 through June 4. The award recognizes jockeys for riding accomplishments and who are members of the Jockeys' Guild, the organization which represents more than 1,050 active, retired and permanently disabled jockeys in the United States.

On Friday, trainer Joe Sharp gave a leg up to Ortiz on Heartyconstitution in the Lyphard Stakes for Pennsylvania-bred fillies and mares, three-years-old and up. Off as the heavy favorite in the field of nine, Heartyconstitution settled in mid-pack. Ortiz gave the 4-year-old filly her cue rounding the far turn and the duo took over to win by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:39.76 for the 1 1/16-mile turf test.

Riding for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, Ortiz was aboard Major Dude in the G2 Penn Mile, the feature race of the evening. Off as the 2-5 favorite in the field of eight, Major Dude tracked the leaders while in third on the inside. Major Dude was shuffled back but was then eased off the inside to make a four-wide move off the turn and edged clear through the stretch to post a three-quarter length win in 1:33.73 for the turf contest for 3-year-olds.

Back at Belmont Park on Saturday, trainer Chad Brown gave a leg up to Ortiz on Kalik in the G2 Pennine Ridge. Kalik went straight to the front and made every pole a winning one to take the 1 1/8-mile turf test by a length in 1:47.85. It was the fourth win of the day for Ortiz.

“There wasn't too much speed in the race and that helped him a lot,” said Ortiz. “He has some talent and he's a nice horse. I wasn't afraid of the distance for sure.”

Ortiz added another three wins on Sunday for a total of 11 for the week and $762,588 in total purses.

Other contenders for Jockey of the Week included David Cabrera with two stakes wins at Lone Star, Tyler Gaffalione who won two stakes including the G3 Regret at Churchill Downs, Florent Geroux with two graded stakes wins at Churchill Downs including the G3 Arlington, and James Graham who won the G3 Old Forester Mint Julep at Churchill Downs.

Paulick Report Icon

Receive daily headlines, breaking news alerts, promotions, and much more!

Become An Insider

Support our journalism and access bonus content on our Patreon stream

Learn More