JOSÉ L. ORTIZ WINS IN 2020
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.