Irad Ortiz Breaks Gulfstream's Victory Record
Saturday, March 27, 2021
HALLANDALE BEACH - Irad Ortiz Jr. set the single-season Championship Meet win record in style today at Gulfstream Park, guiding St. Elias Stable’s home-bred Known Agenda to a 2 ¾-length victory in the $750,000, Gr. I Curlin Florida Derby presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa.
It was the first time the 28-year-old Ortiz has won Gulfstream’s signature race and his 138th victory during the country’s premier winter stand, surpassing Luis Saez’s mark of 137 set in 2017-18. Ortiz approached the record in 2018-19, but finished with 135.
“It means a lot," Ortiz said. "We work so hard. I feels so good to get the feedback from the owners and the trainers. They support me. I say thanks to all of them. When I say all of them, I mean all of them – from the claiming races to the stakes races. We have a lot of respect for Luis. It wasn’t easy. He wins a lot of races here, too. We are so happy.”
Ortiz also led with 115 wins in 2019-20, and is now only the fourth jockey in history to win at least three consecutive Gulfstream riding titles, joining Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, who won five straight from 2011-12 to 2015-16, Jorge Chavez (1999-2001) and Jeffrey Fell (1977-79).
Before his Florida Derby score, Ortiz tied the wins record aboard Joseph Imbesi’s Sweet Bye and Bye in the $100,000 Sand Springs. He now has 14 stakes wins at the meet, including Gr. 1 triumphs in the Florida Derby and $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, the latter with Colonel Liam. Both Known Agenda and Colonel Liam are trained by Todd Pletcher.
The three-time defending Eclipse Award winner, Ortiz has posted 43 multi-win days at Gulfstream this winter, including a six-win effort Feb. 6 that fell just one short of the track’s single-day record shared by Saez, Tyler Gaffalione and Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey.
Represented by agent Jay Rushing, Ortiz has also registered five five-win days, seven four-win days and nine three-win days during the Championship Meet.
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