Four Stakes Wins Across Two Tracks Net Jose Ortiz Jockey Of The Week Title

Jockey Jose Ortiz had three mounts in stakes races at Remington Park on Friday and he made the most of the opportunities. He won all three and then returned to New York on Saturday to win a division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series. Those four stakes victories earned Ortiz Jockey of the Week for Dec. 13 through Dec. 19. The honor, which is voted on by a panel of racing experts, is for jockeys who are members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 1050 active, retired and permanently disabled jockeys in the United States.

At Remington Park Friday evening, Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen gave a leg up to Ortiz on Casual in the She’s All In Stakes for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. Off at odds of 2-1 in the field of eight, Casual tracked the pace, took command on the far turn and cruised to a 5 1/4-length win in 1:43.96 for the one mile and seventy yard contest on the dirt track. Ortiz was riding the 4-year-old Casual for the first time.

Riding again for Asmussen, Ortiz was aboard Optionality in the Trapeze Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Just past the half-mile marker, she went to the lead and was never headed drawing off to an impressive 8-1/4 length victory in 1:41.10 for one mile.

“She broke good,” Ortiz said to the Remington Park Publicity team, “and Steve had her ready. She started looking around at the end with it being nighttime and the lights and shadows at the wire, but she got the job done.”

In the final stakes race on the Remington card, trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. called on Ortiz to ride Make It Big in the Springboard Mile for 2-year-olds with Kentucky Derby points on the line. Off as the favorite in the field of seven, Make It Big battled with race favorite Osborne throughout the stretch, posting a half-length win for the mile contest in 1:41.23. Ortiz picked up the mount after regular rider Edgard Zayas had shoulder surgery.

Back at Aqueduct on Saturday, Ortiz rode Yo Cuz for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott in the Fifth Avenue Division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series, a seven furlong sprint for eligible New York-sired juvenile fillies. Breaking third in the field of 11, Yo Cuz was hustled to the lead and held off a determined Morning Matcha to post a 1 3/4-length win in 1:25.34. The win was the third on the card for Ortiz.

“When you ride good horses, this is what happens,” said Ortiz to the NYRA publicity team. “You get more chances to win races. I appreciate all the opportunities I have been getting with big owners and big trainers supporting my career. That’s what it is all about. You have to have the horse to win.”

Weekly statistics for Ortiz included a 31.5 percent win rate and total purse earnings of $778,748.

Other nominees for Jockey of the Week were Junior Alvarado who won the G2 Ft. Lauderdale, Kendrick Carmouche who won the Gravesend at Aqueduct, Luis Saez with two graded stakes at Gulfstream, and Luis A. Valenzuela who won two stakes at Turf Paradise.

The post Four Stakes Wins Across Two Tracks Net Jose Ortiz Jockey Of The Week Title appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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