Irad Ortiz Jr. Takes Huge Lead in Jockey Standings at Saratoga

Irad Ortiz, Jr. is rolling once again at the Spa, already out to a commanding lead in the jockey standings with no signs of slowing down.

As the third week of the eight-week summer begins on Wednesday (July 26), Ortiz has piled up 21 victories in 71 races, including a win in the Shuvee (G2) with Nest and a win in the Caress (G3) with Roses for Debra.

Through July 26, Ortiz has a remarkable 30% win rate, and with 21 runner-up finishes and nine third-place efforts to boot, his mounts have been on the board 70% of the time.

On Friday (July 21) he was aboard four winners; on Saturday (July 22) Oritz outdid himself with five winners.

“It’s great. It’s an amazing feeling. We show up every day positive trying to win as many as we can,’’ Ortiz said after Saturday’s five wins.

So, for those who aren’t already on the Ortiz betting bandwagon, try the mounts he’s list on for Wednesday — Silk Trade (Race 2, 5-2); Beautiful Thief (Race 3, 8-1); Dr. B (Race 4 – Honorable Miss — 6-1); Lil Bro Coop (Race 5, 5-1); and Arrest Me Red (Race 7, 5-2).

Meanwhile, brother Jose Ortiz is set to return to the races on Wednesday following a spill on after the first race on Saturday (July 22). He was sidelined with bruised ribs.

At the recently concluded Belmont fall/summer meet, Irad edged Jose for the riding title. Irad is seeking a fifth riding title at Saratoga.

Luis Saez, last year’s top rider at the Spa, is second in the standings with nine wins; Jose Ortiz and Flavien Prat are tied for third with eight wins apiece. There’s still six weeks to go, but it’s tough to see anyone catching Irad if he remains close to the pace he’s set over the first two weeks.


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