Ortiz Brothers Head to Churchill Downs

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Authors: The Ortiz Brothers, Emily Shields

A pair of Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In races on Saturday at Churchill Downs have lured the Ortiz Brothers, Jose and Irad, away from their New York base.

The $200,000 Iroquois (G3) is 1 1/16-mile contest for juvenile colts that drew a field of 10. Jose will ride #6 Flute Maker, a son of Sky Mesa for Ken McPeek that broke his maiden at Saratoga by 11 ½ lengths.

“Another impressive winner at the Spa,” Jose said of Flute Maker. “He can’t look any better on his last performance. I was just a passenger. He did everything perfect. Broke well, set the pace and finished strong with plenty on the tank. It’s a big opportunity for him this Saturday.”

But to get to the winner’s circle, Jose will need to best his brother Irad on the ultra-impressive Dennis’ Moment, a son of Tiznow. He won a maiden race at Ellis Park by 19 ¼ lengths, with the chart comment “demolished field.” Dale Romans trains.

The brothers will also ride against each other in the $200,000 Pocahontas (G2), the sister race to the Iroquois but for fillies. The brothers will start side by side on #6 Morning Gold (Jose) and #7 British Idiom (Irad).

Morning Gold, also trained by McPeek, won at Saratoga August 11 on the grass. This is on the main track, but she’s by Morning Line, who finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs in 2010.

“She broke her maiden at Saratoga on the turf and it looked very professional,” Jose said. “I love how she handled the turf. I know that for this Saturday she’ll try dirt for the first time but she’s been training very well over that surface as well.”

British Idiom, a Brad Cox-trainee by Flashback, won first out August 15.  “I saw her winning impressively at Saratoga first time asked,” Irad said. His mount finished third behind British Idiom that day. “She looked really good on that opportunity.” 

Watch the Ortiz brothers in action live this weekend on TVG and TVG2.


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