Out of action since Feb. 22 due to a wrist injury, jockey Jose Ortiz didn't take long to return to his winning ways, scoring aboard his first mount back Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Ortiz guided Extraordinary ($7) to a dominating 6 ¼-length victory in Race 8, a mile maiden special weight race for 3-year-olds.
Ortiz injured his wrist Feb. 22 while being unseated by first-time starter Atone in the post parade for Race 3, falling awkwardly while maintaining a tight hold of the reins. He went ahead and rode the fractious Atone to a sixth-place finish before taking off his remaining mounts and getting his right wrist x-rayed.
Ortiz, who won the 2017 Eclipse Award as North America's top jockey and younger brother of reigning two-time Eclipse champion Irad Ortiz Jr., underwent blood flow restriction therapy at a Miami center that also treats professional basketball and football players.
“If I wasn't ready, I wouldn't be riding. It's not easy to control these animals with one hand,” Ortiz said. “I'm very happy. I want to thank my family and my doctors.”
Ortiz had ridden Rodolphe Brisset-trained Extraordinary in his Feb. 8 debut, in which the son of Speightstown encountered bumping leaving the gate before finishing fourth.
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