'It's Been An Incredible Afternoon': Steady On Caps Six-Win Day For Irad Ortiz Jr. With Appleton Score - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

‘It’s Been An Incredible Afternoon’: Steady On Caps Six-Win Day For Irad Ortiz Jr. With Appleton Score

Steady On and Irad Ortiz Jr. take the Appleton

With a ground-saving, stalking trip aboard favorite Steady On, jockey Irad Oritz Jr. earned his fifth victory of six overal Saturday afternoon at Gulfstream Park in the $150,000 Appleton.

Steady On, co-owned by Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable, had close seconds in his three previous stakes tries for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. Starting from Post 6, Ortiz promptly guided the 4-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile to the rail and the colt ran along comfortably a few lengths off the pace set by Churchtown of :24.22, :47.52 and 1:10.43.

Coming off the second turn, Ortiz Jr. tipped Steady On to the outside and asked him to engage the leader. Steady On moved alongside 13-1 Churchtown and they raced together through the stretch until Steady On moved away for the win.

Steady On, bred by Springhouse Farm from the Storm Cat mare Wile Cat, reached the wire in 1:34.49 and paid $5.80 as the 9-5 favorite in the field of 11. Peter Brant and Joseph Allen's Fort Washington finished third.

In addition to the Appleton, Ortiz won the Florida Derby (G1) with Forte ($2.60), scored a natural triple aboard Bright Future ($4.20) in Race 4; Therapist ($11) in Race 5, the G2 Pan American; and Get Your Kicks ($6) in Race 6; before capturing the Sand Springs Stakes in Race 10 with Marketsegmentation ($3.40).

Appleton Quotes:

Winning trainer Todd Pletcher (Steady On): “He got a beautiful trip, a ground-saving trip, and kicked on nicely. It worked out kind of how we talked before the race. He's a warrior. He shows up every time, and he even ran well a couple of times when they took it off the turf onto the synthetic. He just shows up and gives you a good effort every time.”

Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Steady On): “Difficult to feel better than I do when winning in front of my family and so many dear ones that support me at all times. It's been an incredible afternoon, and hopefully there's still more to come.”

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