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Aqueduct: Ortiz brothers continue hot streak; Clawback dominates Winkfield
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – The major storyline for Super Bowl XLVII is the faceoff between opposing head coaches and brothers John and Jim Harbaugh.
At Aqueduct – at least for the last week – it seems like every day is Super Bowl Sunday.
Brothers Irad and Jose Ortiz have dominated the recent proceedings at Aqueduct, winning 30 of the 54 races run at the Big A during the six-day period Jan. 16-21. Irad won 17 races, Jose 13.
Irad equalled a career-high five wins on one card Monday, highlighted by a five-length victory aboard Clawback ($2.90) in the $75,000 Jimmy Winkfield Stakes for 3-year-olds.
But the highlight of their dominance was Sunday, when the brothers won the first seven races on the nine-race card. Jose, 19, won the first three, while Irad, 20, took the next four. That came one day after the brothers combined to win six races on Saturday’s card – three apiece. Jose came within a nose of his fourth in Saturday’s nightcap.
When Irad Ortiz won aboard his first two mounts on Monday’s card, it gave him six consecutive victories. His bid to tie Ramon Dominguez’s record of seven consecutive winners at a New York Racing Association track – done on Dec. 14-15, 2011 – ended when his mount, Nikki’s Nut, finished last in the fourth race.
“I didn’t know about the record, I just try to win every race I rode,” Irad Ortiz said after Nikki’s Nut faded in the fourth. “That’s very impressive for me; it’s close to the record. One day, I’m going to break that record.”
After running third in Monday’s fifth on Golden Cheetah and second in the sixth on Mary P. Jones – his brother Jose won the sixth race on Schillerette – Irad won the next three, including the Winkfield aboard Clawback.
The Ortiz brothers are now 1-2 in Aqueduct’s inner track jockey standings, with Jose having 41 wins and Irad 38. Irad missed a week due to a sprained ankle.
Irad Ortiz swept the weekend stakes, taking Saturday’s Evening Attire on Last Gunfighter, Sunday’s Turnofthecentury on Brigand, and Monday’s Winkfield on Clawback.
In the Winkfield, Ortiz and Clawback stalked the pacesetting Rubysandpearls, under Eddie Castro, until the five-sixteenths pole. The two came into the stretch together, but Clawback, owned by Klaravich Stables and Bill Lawrence and trained by Rick Violette, drew away impressively to win by five lengths while running six furlongs in a solid 1:09.75.
“He break out of there good, I got a little pressure early on the outside, I ask him a little bit, and he pick it up pretty quick,” Ortiz said. “I went a little fast, but in the end, I still had a lot of horse.”
Rusty Myers, the assistant to Violette, may have summed it up best when he said, “It’s been an Ortiz kind of week.”
Sunday, the brothers put on quite the show.
Jose won the first three aboard Bellamy ($3.40), Rocket Hero ($9.50), and Unbridled Logic ($4.50).
Irad won the next four with Now and Then ($3.70), Bail Out the Banks ($4.40), Nothing But Air ($9.80), and Brigand ($3.40).
“We did good, but we rode good horses today,” said Jose, who enjoyed his sixth three-win day since Nov. 29. “We got lucky, thank God, and the horses won.”
Jose was scheduled to lose his apprentice status on Jan. 29. But due to an injury he suffered during the summer, he will get an extension until March 15.
Inner track is a gold mine
You have to be a degenerate to bet the Big A in the winter
I am very glad to see these two brothers opening such an oportunity for themselves in one of the most demanding if not the most demanding circuit in the USA.Their father also was a jockey so the family tradition continues.These two brothers come out of the jockey school for young men that are looking forward to become jockeys.From John Velasquez down there a whole bunc of jockeys that had their beging in the Camarero Racetrack in Puerto Rico.
No big surprise here..But hey.....im not ray sousa..
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