Heading South For The Winter: Irad Ortiz Jr. To Ride At Gulfstream Park

by | 01.02.2018 | 10:23am
Irad Ortiz celebrates his win in the Saratoga Special aboard Copper Bullet

After several days of dealing with frigid temperatures and weather-related cancellations at Aqueduct, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. has decided to move his tack to Gulfstream Park for the winter.

The Daily Racing Form reports that Ortiz is listed on four mounts on Gulfstream's Friday program.

“Irad had originally considered riding at Gulfstream this winter before finally deciding to stay home again this year,” his agent, Steve Rushing told the Form. “But a combination of the extreme cold weather, with no relief in sight, and recent cancellations led to the decision to come down earlier than we'd planned.”

Ortiz had originally planned to ride at Gulfstream beginning in March.

“It's probably going to take a little time to work back in, since a lot of the calls in the current condition book have already been given out,” Rushing said. “But we picked up four calls for Friday's card, and it seems like a lot of our regular clients are very happy to hear he'll be down here on a regular basis.”

  • Tom Davis

    I wonder if Martin Garcia is also packing his bags and heading back to southern Cal. I read that being in that kind of weather is a first for him.

    • Tinky

      Hi Tom,

      Off-topic but the published reports have been confirmed. Easy Goer chipped an ankle in mid-July, which led to his retirement.

      I can add from personal observation that the heavy-bodied colt had “juicy” ankles through much of his career, so that it would be one of those joints that gave way was no surprise.

      • Tom Davis

        Thanks….. I noticed in his two turn races on 1 mile tracks, Easy Goer stopped advancing around the turns, but had to wait for the straightaways to show his run, the most obvious being the BC Classic at Gulfstream. Maybe the ankles is the the explanation for this. He was aided by the wider sweeping turns at Belmont. I miss those day when horses ran more often.

        • Tinky

          Yes, I miss those days as well.

  • Michael Keller

    Not a surprise at all. Steve and Irad were back and forth on this. It is actually the right move. Why stay at Aqueduct for Dec. through March? Irad is a top, top rider, and if you want to be a top rider — and have all that goes along with that — then Gulfstream is the place to be. I am sure there are plenty of spots left in the book and Irad will do well.

  • john

    This guy is so good he will take a lot of wins. Ouch for the regular riders down there!!

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