Woodward in Irad Ortiz’s Sights

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Authors: The Ortiz Brothers, Emily Shields

Closing weekend of the 2019 Saratoga meet kicks off with four stakes races on Saturday, topped by the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (G1). The 1 1/8 mile race drew a competitive field of nine, including defending champion Yoshida (Jpn) and 2019 grade 1 winner Vino Rosso.

Also drawing support will be Tom’s d’Etat, a multiple graded stakes placed stakes winner who took the Alydar Stakes here on August 2. Irad Ortiz, Jr. will be up. “He’s a very good horse,” Irad said. “I liked the way he won the Alydar Stakes. We got the outside post, so the race strategy will be interesting.”

Tom’s d’Etat sat in mid pack early in the Alydar, then rallied to win by a length. The horse he beat that day was Wooderson, who is back for the Woodward and ridden by none other than Irad’s brother Jose. Wooderson is trained by Todd Pletcher, and is a half-brother to immortal Woodward heroine Rachel Alexandra.

Outside the Woodward, Saratoga will run the grade 2 Prioress for three-year-old fillies, the grade 3 Saranac on the grass, and the grade 2 Glens Falls for older fillies and mares.

In the Prioress, Jose will ride Risky Mandate and Irad has the mount on Kept True. Jose is aboard the Chad Brown-trained Santa Monica (GB) in the Glens Falls, while Irad rides the Graham Motion trained Empressof the Nile. In the Saranac, Jose is aboard Rinaldi and Irad has the call with Good Governance (GB), also trained by Brown.

“This horse had so much trouble going into the first turn in his debut,” Irad said of Good Governance, who broke his maiden first out here on August 4. “He recovered well then during the stretch. He showed he was a little bit green, however, Good Governance’s class prevailed on that opportunity. I love the way he’s been training. I’ve very excited with this one.”

Watch the Ortiz brothers in action on the Woodward card at Saratoga live on TVG.

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