At age 24, jockey Jose Ortiz just wrapped up a Saratoga meet which saw him finish third in the overall jockey standings with 42 wins, but he wasted no time resting on his laurels, jumping right into racing at the Belmont Park fall meet and Kentucky Downs over the weekend. We caught up with the regular rider of Grade 1 winners Good Magic and Oscar Performance in between meets.
Get to know the current reigning Eclipse Award winner as outstanding jockey with the fun Q&A below.
What I do for a living:
What I like about Thoroughbred racing:
Love the horses but the family I have found in it is special.
How I became a jockey:
I fell in love with the sport when I was very young … and my brother (Irad Ortiz Jr.), of course.
If I wasn’t a jockey, I would be a:
I don’t really know- I love baseball but I’m too small.
Best advice to someone considering becoming a jockey:
Work hard and always give your best
My top three favorites racetracks, in order:
Should the Breeders’ Cup rotate from coast to coast or have a permanent home?
Rotate coast to coast
Most influential person in my career:
My brother Irad
Other sports/teams I follow:
Baseball and basketball: Golden State Warriors and New York teams
My favorite athletes of all time:
Michael Jordan, Ivan Rodriguez, John Velazquez
What book(s) I am reading or have recently read:
Daily Racing Form
Hobbies away from Thoroughbred racing:
Favorite TV shows I watch:
"El Señor de Los Cielos"
Rice, beans, fried chicken
Favorite vacation spot:
Miky Woodz, Ozuna, Anuel AA, Bad Bunny
Websites I visit daily:
I’d like to have dinner with the following three people inside racing:
Aidan O’Brien, Ryan Moore, Peter Brant
I’d like to have dinner with the following three people outside of racing:
Jennifer Lopez, Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart
Best racetrack food can be found at:
Keeneland and Oaklawn Park
Accomplishment I am most proud of:
Eclipse Award (2017 Outstanding Jockey)
My philosophy on life:
Family first and always give your best
Things I collect:
Favorite animal other than a horse:
Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended:
Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me:
Living my dream
Top three fashion brands you prefer to wear:
Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Adidas
Favorite month of the year:
What apps are on your phone:
Horse Races Now, Uber, ESPN, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat
If you could pick walk-up music that would play whenever you entered a winner’s circle after a win, what song would you pick:
“Real Guerrero,” by Secreto
Favorite all-time racehorse:
Favorite racehorse currently competing:
Favorite international racing event:
Which jockey in the East Coast colony is the funniest?
Which jockey in the East Coast colony is the smartest?
What you drive:
Who will win the Super Bowl this year?
New England Patriots