Mike Smith, Irad and Jose Ortiz, Florent Geroux Nominated for Best Jockey at ESPY Awards

Mike Smith, Irad Ortiz, Jr., and Jose Ortiz (left to right) are all nominated for Best Jockey at the 2019 ESPY Awards. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Mike Smith, Irad Ortiz, Jr.Jose Ortiz, and Florent Geroux have been nominated for the 2019 ESPY Award as Best Jockey, the cable sports television and online network announced.

The 2019 ESPY Awards celebrate the year's greatest achievements in sports and honor leading athletes and performances. The ceremony will be hosted by Tracy Morgan and will air July 10, live on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Florent Geroux (Eclipse Sportswire)

Mike Smith ranks 11th in earnings among North American jockeys through June 19 and first in earnings per start among all jockeys who have made more than 10 starts with $44,401. Smith won the Triple Crown in 2018 with Justify. This year, his top horses include McKinzie and Midnight Bisou. He was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.

Irad Ortiz, Jr., is the reigning Eclipse Award winner as champion jockey. He leads all North American jockeys in earnings for 2019 through June 19 with $14,388,618. He also led in total earnings in 2018 with over $27 million. Irad Ortiz rode Whitney Stakes winner Diversify and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies turf winner Newspaperofrecord in 2018, among several other graded stakes winners. His top horses in 2019 include Bricks and Mortar and Homerique.

Jose Ortiz won the Eclipse Award in 2017 as champion jockey. He currently ranks third in earnings among all North American jockeys for 2019 with $10,963,161 through June 19, and ranked second overall in 2018 to his brother, Irad. Jose Ortiz’s top mounts in 2018 included Good Magic and Oscar Performance. He rode Serengeti Empress to a recent victory in the 2019 Longines Kentucky Oaks.

Florent Geroux ranked fifth in 2018 in earnings among all North American jockeys with $21,471,603 and ranks 13th this year through June 19. In 2018, Geroux rode Gun Runner to a $7 million victory in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes and was also the rider of champion 3-year-old filly Monomoy Girl.

The ESPYS benefit the V Foundation for Cancer Research in memory of the late college basketball coach and analyst Jim Valvano.

The 2019 ESPYS also pay tribute to the "achievements of inspiring and courageous athletes" with three pillar awards – the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance and The Pat Tillman Award for Service. As previously announced, the awards will be presented to Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell, former Marine Corps Sergeant Kirstie Ennis and high school football coach Rob Mendez, respectively.

Fans will have a chance to select the winners by voting online or via mobile at this link.  Fans can also follow the official ESPYS Twitter page and provide their selections leading up to the awards show. On the day of the show, fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #ESPYS to join in on the conversation.

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