04/28/2014 11:26AM

Violette has faith in Jose Ortiz

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Barbara D. Livingston
Samraat (left) will be ridden in the Kentucky Derby by 20-year-old jockey Jose Ortiz.

At age 20, Jose Ortiz, the rider of Samraat, will be the youngest jockey in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Rick Violette, the trainer of Samraat, has as much confidence in Ortiz as if he was a 20-year veteran.

“He’s very confident, loves the horse, he’s a very smooth rider, doesn’t over-ride. I think that’s a quality that’s a little unusual,” Violette said. “A lot of young riders, at this stage of their career, turn for home and all they do is start flailing away and get very excited. He doesn’t over-ride. That’s part confidence and natural ability to kind of take in what’s happening.”

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Violette noted that in victories in the Gotham and Withers, Ortiz hit Samraat “a total of one time. Sometimes you’ll get a guy who’ll ride faster than the horse is going. In the Gotham, he had a grin on his face nearing the wire, knowing he had those horses measured.”

Jose Ortiz and his horses were going awfully fast at the Aqueduct spring meet that just ended Sunday. Ortiz won the riding title – his first – with 28 wins, five more than his 21-year-old brother, Irad Ortiz Jr., who also is riding in his first Kentucky Derby aboard fellow New York-bred Uncle Sigh.

Jose Ortiz has never ridden at Churchill Downs, but Violette said he is scheduled to ride there Friday and early on Saturday’s card.

“Older riders are sometimes just as susceptible to getting swallowed by the moment, especially the more opportunities they’ve had,” said Violette, who is participating in his second Derby. “Young guys assume they’re going to get back there. Sometimes that can be an asset.”

Samraat was scheduled to be the last Kentucky Derby horse to arrive on the grounds. He was scheduled to arrive on a Tex Sutton flight early Monday evening.

Cold More than 1 year ago
With All the talk about a CA bred winning this gutsy NY bred might just surprise...His last effort was SNEAKY good breaking on top and doing some dirty work early and surging late for the place. VEry Game! Kinda like Funny Cide in Wood very game effort while second best. I think they have big shot along with Candy, Intense and Wicked. Those are my four for the win!
Ron Solberg More than 1 year ago
a very good upcoming jockey both him and his brother.im going to say that jose will be able to ride with the best all day long.
exoticindy More than 1 year ago
Go Samraay,Rick,Rodney and Mellissa!!!
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Good luck Rick, Melissa, Jose, "Sammy", and everyone.
Ivan More than 1 year ago
Desde Puerto Rico, buena suerte a José
Jd Staton More than 1 year ago
hes good and can be the best but if he doesnt have the horse forget it
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
big chance for ortiz watched him all winter and he was the secnd best in ny,but with the big boys coming back i cant help but think he will be moving his tack to monmouth,,i hope he does well with sammy,another funnycide? got to give violette credit for sticking with him, especially with javier having at this time no mount
mike More than 1 year ago
Sorry jose Ortiz , Ira Ortiz and Manuel Franco all good young rider come out of the best jockey school in Puerto Rico future talent riders.. All the best to them stay all healthy-...:)
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
he wont have a choice,he is young and has to pay his dues,he wont get the mounts he is getting now,he should decide soon before bravo gets it all. and seriously,i love his style but at 20 should he really have a live mount in the big one?.i can just see borail doing a number on him,anyway he seems to be a nice kid and best of luck to him
Robin Cardoza More than 1 year ago
Where have you been? He and his brother stayed in Saratoga and kicked major butt last year. Irad kicked butt his first two years and last year was Jose's first. Monmouth? LOL. They have had the big trainers in their corners for a while now.
Bugsy Anderson More than 1 year ago
Tough choice to try NY in the summer or ride at Mon. The pros and cons make that difficult to choose
Joseph Malatesta More than 1 year ago
Go Samraat! I got Samraat for $80 in the futures pool 2 at 30-1. That's one heck of a payday!
Flipper More than 1 year ago
Quit smo***g that bad stuff.It will mess up your brain.
Joseph Malatesta More than 1 year ago
I'm not 22 anymore, bro. Haven't done that in a while.
jason javino More than 1 year ago
yeah it would be but he will not win.