Irad Ortiz Jr.
Irad has become the most dominant rider in North America. Born in Puerto Rico he idolized Angel Cordero who was also from his home nation. In 2011 he began his riding career and quickly was offered a chance to ride in New York. It took him only a week to get his first winner.
Only a year into his riding career he earned his first grade 1 victory at Saratoga, one of the premier meets in the country. By 2013 he was already ranking in the top 5 jockeys in North America and won his first meet title at Aqueduct.
Since 2015 Irad has won at least 20 graded stakes races and finished as the top jockey in North American earnings every year since 2018. What makes Irad special is his ability to win on both dirt and turf at long and short distance. His excellence at all surfaces and distances make him truly unique against any jockey colony in the country.
He often competes against his brother Jose L. Ortiz who also races on the same circuits as Irad.
Irad has won many of the major stakes races across the country including the Alabama, the Carter Handicap, the Whitney, the Pegasus Turf, the Florida Derby, and the Pegasus World Cup. He is also a 13 time Breeder’s Cup Champion spanning over 9 of the 14 divisions in the series.
While his list of graded stakes wins is over 190 races long, he has earned just 1 Triple Crown series victory riding Creator to a win in the Belmont Stakes.
Irad won the Eclipse Award for outstanding jockey in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
Top Trainers: Chad Brown, Todd Pletcher, Michael Maker, Wesley Ward, Saffie Joseph
Top 5 Career Horses in Earnings: Bricks and Mortar, Vino Rosso, Mucho Gusto, Lady Eli, Diversify