Irad Ortiz, Jr. posts five-win day
by Keith McCalmont
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., leading rider at the Big A fall meet, rode five winners on Monday's Veterans Day card, including a sweep of the Late Pick 3 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Ortiz, Jr., who was recently named the winner of the 17th Bill Shoemaker Award, given annually to the most outstanding jockey at the Breeders' Cup World Championships, enjoyed his first five-win day since accomplishing the feat on July 31 at Saratoga Race Course.
The rider picked up his first of two wins for trainer Chad Brown on the card when he guided first time starter Customerexperience to victory in the day's second race for owner Klaravich Stables. In Race 6, Ortiz, Jr. propelled Willing to Speed to a rallying score in a 1 1/16-mile claiming tilt for trainer John Kimmel and owner Unadilla Stable.
Ortiz, Jr. added a second score for Brown when he captured a nine-furlong maiden route with Paul Pompa, Jr.'s Country Grammer to kick off the Late Pick 3 in Race 8.
In Race 9, Classic Lady carried Ortiz, Jr. to a sharp score in a 1 1/16-mile inner turf test for trainer Jorge Abreu and owners Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stables. He completed his sweep of the card's final three races with Newtown Anner Stud Farm's Pins and Needles for trainer Kelsey Danner.
The all Ortiz, Jr. Late Pick 3 [7-3-5] returned $183 for a $1 ticket.
The spectacular day saw Ortiz, Jr. increase his leading win total to 13 for the fall meet.
Live racing resumes on Thursday at the Big A with a 9-race card. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.