Jose Ortiz wins five races on Sunday’s Big A card
by Keith McCalmont
Jockey Jose Ortiz won with 5-of-6 mounts on Sunday’s nine-race card at Aqueduct Racetrack topped by a win aboard Regal Glory in the featured $100,000 Plenty of Grace.
“I do pretty well here at Aqueduct. The New York trainers have been a big supporter of my career since I started here. This is my home,” said Ortiz.
Ortiz won with his first four mounts taking the day’s first race with Always Carina [No. 5, $3.90] for four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown, capturing the maiden special weight sprint in wire-to-wire fashion.
He teamed up once more with Brown in Race 4, the Plenty of Grace, guiding Regal Glory [No. 5, $3.40] to a half-length score in the one-mile turf test for older fillies and mares.
Ortiz partnered with trainer Orlando Noda to capture Race 5, a state-bred maiden claiming sprint, with Rainbow Gal [No. 5, $9.20] and one race later guided Three Jokers [No. 3, $16.80] to a 7-1 upset for trainer John Terranova in a one-turn mile allowance.
The veteran rider concluded a memorable day by piloting Big Tony’s Girl [No. 11, $5.30] to a maiden claiming score in the final race on the card for trainer James Ryerson.
The rider’s lone non-winning effort came with a fourth in Race 7 aboard Spitball.
The five-win day puts Ortiz at the top of the Big A spring meet jockey standings with 16 wins, four more than his brother Irad Ortiz, Jr., who was riding at Keeneland this past week. The 11-day spring meet comes to a close on Sunday, April 18.
“You want to win every meet that you can but Irad wasn’t here this week and I’m sure he’ll come back and be competitive next week,” said Ortiz. “I have to keep the momentum going. I had a good beginning of the meet. Hopefully, I can finish up strong.”
Live racing resumes Thursday at the Big A with an eight-race card. First post is 1:20 p.m.