Authors: The Ortiz Brothers, Emily Shields
Fresh off a banner weekend with three major victories, Irad Ortiz, Jr. now eyes the coming racing action ahead. He will take on brother Jose in stakes races at Parx in Pennsylvania Saturday, and then head to Charles Town in West Virginia Sunday.
After taking the grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs on Dennis’ Moment, Irad swept the grade 1 races at Woodbine last Sunday. He won the Summer Stakes on Decorated Invader, then the Natalma by a hair on Abscond.
Both Ortiz brothers have plenty to look forward to this weekend. At Parx, Irad will ride Get Hammered in the grade 2 Gallant Bob, with Jose on Trophy Chaser. In the Alphabet Soup Handicap, Jose rides Sweet Bye and Bye, with Irad on Saratoga Jack. The Turf Amazon has Jose slated for Miss Gossip (Ire) and Irad on Boos (Fr), while the Parx Dirt Mile sees Irad on Monongahela and Jose on Diamond King.
“He’s a very good horse coming from Florida with good credentials,” Jose said of Diamond King, a four-year-old son of Quality Road trained by John Servis. He is a two-time stakes winner to date.
But the big race on the card is the $1,000,000 Cotillion Stakes (G1) for three-year-old fillies. Jose will ride #8 Guarana (9-5). “She’s a very special filly,” he said. “Three impressive wins over three different tracks. I haven’t back on her since the Coaching Club American Oaks but, I saw her during the morning workouts and she looks really good. It’s a good post position in a field of eleven. I’m very excited.”
Irad will ride #1 Serengeti Empress (7-2). “She’s coming off three great performances in a row,” the rider said. “I think the (1 1/16 mile) distance will play in her favor. I feel blessed for receiving the opportunity to ride this filly again. I would like to thank (trainer) Mr. Amoss and (owner) Mr. Politi for giving me this chance.”
On Sunday the action moves to Charles Town for the grade 3 Charles Town Oaks. Jose will ride La Chancla for Rodolphe Brisset, while Irad has the call on Newly Minted for Linda Rice. Both horses are in with a serious shot in the seven-furlong race.
Watch the Ortiz brothers in action live this weekend on TVG and TVG2.
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