After Friday’s Gate Incident, Irad Ortiz Takes Off Weekend Mounts At Gulfstream

Reigning champion jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. will not ride at Gulfstream Park this weekend, taking time to recover from a sore knee caused by an incident in the starting gate prior to Friday’s eighth race, the Daily Racing Form‘s Marty McGee posted on Twitter. The rider’s agent, Steve Rushing, told McGee that Ortiz plans to return to the saddle next Wednesday, when he is named to ride in eight races on the card.

Ortiz was aboard Shea On A Mission for trainer Carlos David as the field loaded into the gate, when the 4-year-old daughter of Mission Impazible became unruly and reared. Ortiz managed to escape out the back, but he immediately appeared to be in pain. He was helped away from the gate by the assistant starters, and Shea On A Mission was scratched by the track veterinarian.

Thursday was the first day Ortiz had ridden since the Clasico del Caribe card at Camarero (Puerto Rico) on Dec. 5, 2021, owing to a 30-day suspension for his actions in a pair of races at Aqueduct.

Ortiz rode two winners from five mounts on Thursday, and two winners from seven mounts on Friday prior to his injury.

Ortiz has won the past three Eclipse Awards as North America’s champion jockey. He led all riders with 336 wins in 2021 and ranked second with 1,443 starts and $29,274,435 in purse earnings. He also won a personal best 36 graded stakes, 10 of them Grade 1 races.

Following the Clasico del Caribe, Ortiz remained in Puerto Rico before returning to South Florida to work horses, primarily for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher at Palm Beach Downs. He was named in 10 of 11 races Saturday and another eight on Sunday.

The post After Friday’s Gate Incident, Irad Ortiz Takes Off Weekend Mounts At Gulfstream appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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