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The ORTIZ bros.


BIO | FAMILY | FAVORITES
FAMILY

The Ortizes are third-generation riders


The brothers’ grandfather, Irad Ortiz Adorno, was a jockey at Puerto Rico’s premier racetrack, El Nuevo Comandante, now called Hipódromo Camarero, which is situated in Canóvanas, about twenty miles east of San Juan. Irad the elder, who is seventy-one and now lives in Brooklyn, tried to make it as a jockey in the United States in the nineteen-eighties, riding in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Ohio. But he could never break into the N.Y.R.A. colony. Later, he worked at Belmont as a hot walker—one of the stable hands who cool the horses down after their workouts and races by leading them around in circles. He was instrumental in bringing the boys to New York.

The brothers spent their early years in Trujillo Alto, a suburb of San Juan, where their parents, Irad and Wilma, lived. Irad did not become a jockey (their uncle Ivan did), but he managed an off-track betting parlor where, Jose told me, “we would go with him on Saturdays and we could watch races all day.” At home on big race days, their father would turn on the TV, put the boys on the bed, and equip them with a helmet and a whip and a pillow for a saddle, and they would pretend that they were the jockeys. – The New Yorker


IRAD ORTIZ JR.

Irad Ortiz Jr. was born in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico on August 11, 1992.


His grandfather, also named Irad Ortiz, was a jockey, as was uncle Ivan Ortiz. At age 16, Ortiz enrolled in Puerto Rico’s Escuela Vocacional Hípica, a school for prospective jockeys. His younger brother, Jose Ortiz, is also a leading jockey in New York. "We support each other, but you know, when we go out there, we are jockeys.". Irad Jr. began his professional riding career at Hipódromo Camarero in Puerto Rico on New Year’s Day, 2011, winning 76 of 357 starts over the following months. Ortiz rode his first race at Belmont Park on June 17 and won his first American race on June 24 aboard Millennium Jet. He would finish the year with 151 wins from 1,016 starts. Irad Jr. has two daughters, Sarai & Saeli.

JOSÉ L ORTIZ

Jose L. Ortiz was born in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico on October 2, 1993.


Jose L. Ortiz was born in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico on October 2, 1993. The son of Irad Ortiz and Vilma Morales Adorno. His grandfather, also named Irad Ortiz, was a jockey, as was the uncle, Ivan Ortiz. He and his older brother, Irad Ortiz Jr., became interested in the sport from a young age, encouraged by family friend Efraim "Pito" Rosa and mentored by Hall of Fame rider Angel Cordero Jr. Ortiz (Jose) attended Puerto Rico’s Escuela Vocacional Hípica, a school for prospective jockeys, then moved to the United States in 2012 to join Irad, who had already become a leading jockey.

When Ortiz followed suit by becoming one of the leading apprentice jockeys of 2012, the two brothers quickly attracted attention. "They're doing this in New York – the Mecca of racing – two riders fighting for the title," said Pito in early 2013. "I don't remember ever seeing two brothers do that. Jose (Ortiz) married former jockey Taylor Rice on December 20, 2016. The two had a daughter, Leilani, in June 2017, and the newest member of the family is Derek, who was born in November 2018.


@LasMayores

¡Esto es un junte de PURA SANGRE DEPORTIVA en #LasMayores! 🏇 y ⚾ ¡GRANDES! @jose93_ortiz 👏



“Cuando llegamos a la pista ya no somos hermanos, somos rivales”

Aquí y ahora - Univision Noticias

Oh Brother
PHENOM JOCKEYS – AND BROTHERS – JOSE AND IRAD ORTIZ ARE TO HORSE RACING WHAT VENUS AND SERENA WILLIAMS ARE TO TENNIS. ISN’T IT TIME EVERYBODY KNEW THAT?

IRAD ORTIZ JR.
  • Favorite food: Rice & Beans and fried Chicken
  • Favorite spot for vacationing: Puerto Rico
  • Favorite sport (besides horse racing): Basketball
  • Idol: My Dad (Irad Ortiz Sr.)
JOSÉ L. ORTIZ
  • Favorite food: Rice & Beans and fried Chicken
  • Favorite spot for vacationing: Puerto Rico
  • Favorite sport (besides horse racing): Baseball
  • Idol: My brother (Irad Ortiz Jr.)