Q and A with Jockey Jose Ortiz
This week’s guest on The Player’s Edge podcast is famed jockey, Jose Ortiz. He stops by Horse Racing Radar to answer a few questions before a busy and big weekend racing at Pimlico.
HRR: Horse racing is in the Ortiz family genes, starting with your grandfather, then your uncle, and now you and your brother Irad, Jr. Between your grandfather and your uncle, you say your riding style is more like and why?
Jose Ortiz: I really never watched any of them ride. I was little when my uncle rode.
HRR: At 16-years-old, you went to jockey school in Puerto Rico. Tell us what a typical day at jockey school is like?
Jose Ortiz: The typical day started at 6 am, cleaning stalls and cleaning horses. You spend until 10 am in the barns galloping or whatever you are doing. After that, we’d go to the school until 3 pm.
HRR: What lessons did you learn in jockey school that you feel made it easier for you to have early success riding?
Jose Ortiz: The discipline I got there was great for me and my weight.
HRR: You’ve had a ton of success, winning the Belmont Stakes, the Kentucky Oaks, three Breeders’ Cup races, always near the top as leading money winner… of all the races you’ve been in, what’s your most memorable race that you did not win and what about the race makes it the most memorable?
Jose Ortiz: The Kentucky Derby for sure because it is the Derby, and I came in second.
HRR: One of the cousins of success is criticism. New York is known for fans that don’t hold back. How do you deal with some of the negative things people say since you and your brother ride the same tracks and are so successful?
Jose Ortiz: There will always be negative comments. I ignore it and go out there every day and try my best.
HRR: Riding crop rules are a hot topic in horse racing. If you had it your way, what would the rule be?
Jose Ortiz: Having a fair limit of overhand hits is ideal for me.
HRR: Another topic that emerged at Aqueduct was the coupling of Katie Davis and Trevor McCarthy because they got married. Why do you think racing boards view brothers riding in the same race differently than spouses?
Jose Ortiz: It is an old rule that hurt them this year but there has been many brothers riding together way before Irad and me.
HRR: Your career in the US started at PARX, in Philadelphia, but you are a big New York Mets fan. How did that happen?
Jose Ortiz: I was a Mets fan way before I came to the US. My favorite baseball player was Jose Reyes, and I became a Mets fan because of him.
HRR: On your Twitter feed, we saw your comment regarding the recent Canelo Alvarez fight. If you and Irad put on the gloves, tell us who wins and in what round?
Jose Ortiz: I would never fight my brother, so I don’t know.
HRR: Finally, For the Preakness, you are on RISK TAKING; how does he get to the winners’ circle?
Jose Ortiz: Hopefully, the pace develops nicely in front of me. I need to save some ground in the first turn. I had a bad draw and need to improve my position in the backside.
Horse Racing Radar is grateful for your time Jose, good luck this weekend. We’ll hope to see you in Pimlico’s winners’ circle over and over this weekend, especially in the Preakness.
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