Ortiz’s Triumph: Celebrating 3,000 Victories Amidst Suspension

The Topsy-Turvy Journey of Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.: A Rollercoaster of Victories and Suspensions

Irad Ortiz Jr. Reaches a Milestone with His 3,000th Victory

In the fast-paced world of horse racing, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. recently experienced the whirlwind nature of his chosen sport. Just one day after being handed a five-day suspension for reckless riding, Ortiz achieved a significant milestone by claiming his 3,000th career victory. This remarkable feat took place at Gulfstream Park, where Ortiz piloted Order and Law to a thrilling victory in the fourth race. It is important to note that Ortiz’s 3,000 wins exclude the 95 victories he earned in his native Puerto Rico.

In a post-race interview, Ortiz expressed his gratitude towards the owners and trainers who have supported him throughout his journey. He acknowledged that their unwavering support played a vital role in his success. Additionally, he gave credit to his agent, Steve Rushing, who has been instrumental in his career, working tirelessly on his behalf.

The Suspension and its Implications

Despite the jubilation of reaching this remarkable milestone, Ortiz’s triumph was bittersweet. The celebration was tempered by the fact that starting from March 2, his win counter would temporarily pause as he entered a five-day suspension. This penalty was imposed as a result of a riding violation committed in a previous race, where Ortiz veered Princess Cupid out of her lane, interfering with Muguruza, who settled for third place.

The consequences of this suspension temporarily halt Ortiz’s pursuit of further victories. However, it is worth noting that during his suspension period, Ortiz will still be eligible to participate in stakes races on Gulfstream Park’s highly anticipated March 5 card.

A History of Aggressive Riding and Recent Troubles

Irad Ortiz Jr.’s aggressive riding style has often propelled him to success but has also landed him in hot water. Despite being one of the leading riders in North America for the past five years and the recipient of three prestigious Eclipse Awards, his daring escapades have not gone unnoticed.

In December, New York stewards issued a 30-day suspension to Ortiz after two consecutive reckless rides. The first incident occurred when Ortiz, in the heat of the competition, dislodged fellow jockey Omar Hernandez Moreno during a race. The second incident unfolded in the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct when Ortiz steered Mo Donegal to what proved to be a controversial victory over Zandon. Despite protests from Zandon’s connections, the result stood, and Ortiz remained in the winner’s circle.


The journey of jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. is a testament to the exhilarating highs and heart-wrenching lows that are a part of the horse racing world. His recent accomplishment of clinching his 3,000th career victory showcases his skill, determination, and unwavering dedication to his craft. However, his journey hasn’t been without its fair share of challenges, as evidenced by his recent suspensions for reckless riding.

In this tumultuous rollercoaster ride, Ortiz has managed to maintain his competitive edge and establish himself as one of the most formidable jockeys in the industry. As the suspensions come and go, his fans eagerly await his return to the track, where they know he will continue to push the boundaries and strive for greatness.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many career victories does Irad Ortiz Jr. have?

Irad Ortiz Jr. has achieved a remarkable milestone in his career by securing his 3,000th victory at Gulfstream Park. It is worth noting that this figure does not include the 95 wins he earned in his native Puerto Rico.

2. What were the recent suspensions faced by Irad Ortiz Jr.?

Irad Ortiz Jr. recently faced a five-day suspension for reckless riding, which took effect from March 2. This suspension came as a consequence of a riding violation in a previous race at Gulfstream Park. In addition, he also served a 30-day suspension in December for engaging in reckless rides on consecutive days.

3. Will Irad Ortiz Jr. be able to participate in stakes races during his suspension?

While serving his five-day suspension, Irad Ortiz Jr. will still have the opportunity to participate in stakes races on Gulfstream Park’s March 5 card. This exception allows him to maintain his involvement in high-profile events despite the temporary pause in his regular win count.

4. How has Irad Ortiz Jr.’s aggressive riding style impacted his career?

Irad Ortiz Jr.’s aggressive riding style has garnered him numerous victories throughout his career, contributing to his reputation as one of the top jockeys in North America. However, this approach has also resulted in several suspensions and controversies when his daring maneuvers have crossed the line.

5. Who are the key individuals supporting Irad Ortiz Jr. in his racing endeavors?

Irad Ortiz Jr. attributes much of his success to the unwavering support of owners, trainers, and his agent, Steve Rushing. These individuals play an essential role in building his career and ensuring he has the necessary opportunities to thrive in the competitive world of horse racing.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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