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Originally from Trujillo Alto in Puerto Rico, Ortiz is a graduate of that country’s Escuela Vocacional Hípica, a school for prospective jockeys. His grandfather, also named Irad Ortiz, was a jockey, and so are his uncle, Ivan Ortiz, and brother, Jose Ortiz.

Ortiz has found great success since moving to the states to ride, and in 2013 had a mount in the Belmont Stakes aboard Incognito, a Kiaran McLaughlin trainee taking a large set up in class for the Triple Crown race.

In 2014, Ortiz had a career-best year when winning 15 graded stakes races. His highlights were two Grade 1 victories on Sweet Reason and the season was topped off with a win in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Lady Eli, his first Breeders' Cup victory. In 2015 he piloted Lady Eli to victory in each of her first three races including the Grade 1, $1-million Belmont Oaks Invitational. The next year he won the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf with Stephanie's Kitten.

Ortiz has ridden many other popular horses throughout his young career, including 2012 champion 3-year-old filly Questing, Kid Cruz, Vyjack and Birdatthewire.

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