According to Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, Jose Ortiz will ride St. Elias Stable’s Known Agenda in the June 5 Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1), replacing his brother Irad Ortiz Jr., who was injured in a riding accident this week.
The 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes will mark the first time Jose Ortiz has ridden the 3-year-old, winner of the Curlin Florida Derby Presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa (G1). His brother rode him in the Florida Derby and two other races this spring, including when ninth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) at Churchill Downs May 1 in his last start.
In earlier starts in the Curlin colt’s career, John Velazquez and Kendrick Carmouche rode him.
Irad is expected to be away from riding for approximately two weeks after being unseated in the fifth race at Belmont Park June 3 when a first-time starter took several awkward steps in early stretch. Ortiz avoided serious injury but was bruised and required stitches on his head and left arm.
Jose has ridden in the Belmont Stakes six times, winning the 2017 Belmont for Pletcher aboard Tapwrit , one of the trainer’s three wins in the classic.
Irad had been scheduled to ride five horses for Pletcher on Belmont Stakes Day. In other stakes races on Belmont Stakes Day, Pletcher wrote in a text message that Javier Castellano rides Moretti in the Brooklyn Stakes Presented by Northwell Health (G2), and Luis Saez is on Colonel Liam in the Resorts World Casino Manhattan Stakes (G1T).