Irad Ortiz Jr., the Eclipse Award-winning jockey the past three years, will be away from riding for an estimated two weeks as a result of an injury while unseated in the fifth race at Belmont Park June 3, according to his agent Steve Rushing.
Riding Klaravich Stables’ Equal Pay , a first-time starter for trainer Chad Brown, Ortiz crashed to the Belmont Park main track in early stretch after his mount took several awkward steps in the 6 1/2-furlong maiden race. Equal Pay, who had pressed the pace, appeared to be making a winning move before bobbling. She regained her action after a few strides and completed the race without her rider. An outrider caught her shortly after the finish, and she walked back to her barn, according to New York Racing Association publicity.
At least two trailing horses were steadied by their jockeys while coming near Ortiz as he lay on the main track. One of those horses, Brook’s Edge under Junior Alvarado, “altered, clipping a fallen” Ortiz at the three-sixteenths pole, per notes in the Equibase chart.
Emergency medical staff quickly attended to Ortiz. Jockey Jose Ortiz, upon returning from the unsaddling of his mount, fifth-place finisher American Parade , ran down the Belmont Park stretch to check on his brother. The fallen rider was transported to a local hospital for evaluation and tests.
Rushing said June 4 “the CT scan and X-rays were all negative. (Irad) has some stitches in his head and his arm. Pretty sore and banged up, and we’re gonna take it day by day, but it’s probably going to be a couple weeks” before he returns.
As a proud parent myself I can tell you this…the Ortiz brothers are who you pray your children turn out to be…the definition of class, kindness, loyalty, work ethic, generosity, humbleness, etc…prayers up for @iradortiz 🙏 https://t.co/Yp6FNFnvUU
— Chad C. Brown (@TheRealChadCBr1) June 4, 2021
Late June 3, Jose tweeted a photo of his brother wearing a bandage on his left arm, noting the same two-week estimate for when his brother is back riding.
— Jose Ortiz (@jose93_ortiz) June 4, 2021
Irad Ortiz currently leads the Belmont Park rider standings and had been booked on numerous key stakes mounts June 5, including Known Agenda in the Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1), Colonel Liam in the Resorts World Casino Manhattan Stakes (G1T), and Search Results in the Acorn Stakes (G1).
Ortiz was replaced on all of his mounts Friday at Belmont Park.