Much has been made of the sibling rivalry between Irad Ortiz Jr. and Jose Ortiz, the Puerto Rican brothers who have taken the racing world by storm.
While 26-year-old Irad paved the way by first graduating Escuela Vocacional Hipica and coming to the U.S. in 2011 (25-year-old Jose followed in 2012), Jose first took home the Eclipse Award for outstanding jockey last season. And the only feeling stronger than pride for his younger brother is the innate drive that subsequently propelled Irad to the best year of his career.
“I told my agent, ‘I want to feel that feeling,’ ” Irad said Jan. 23. “He said, ‘OK, let’s get to work!’ ”