HRR: Horse racing is in the Ortiz family genes,
starting with your grandfather, then your uncle and now you and your brother
Irad, Jr. Between your grandfather and your uncle, which would you say your
riding style is more like and why?
Jose Ortiz: I really never watched any of them ride.
I was little when my uncle rode.
HRR: At 16-years-old, you went to jockey school in
Puerto Rico. Tell us what a typical day at jockey school is like?
Jose Ortiz: The typical day started at 6 am, cleaning
stalls and cleaning horses. You spend until 10 am in the barns galloping or
whatever you are doing. After that, we'd go to the school until 3 pm.
HRR: What lessons did you learn in jockey school that
you feel made it easier for you to have early success riding?
Jose Ortiz: The discipline I got there was great for
me and my weight.
HRR: You've had a ton of success, winning the Belmont
Stakes, the Kentucky Oaks, three Breeders' Cup races, always near the top as
leading money winner... of all the races you've been in, what's your most
memorable race that you did not win and what about the race makes it the most
Jose Ortiz: The Kentucky Derby for sure because it is
the Derby and I came in second.
HRR: One of the cousins of success is criticism. New
York is known for fans that don't hold back. How do you deal with some of the
negative things people say since you and your brother ride at the same tracks
and are so successful?
Jose Ortiz: There will always be negative comments. I
just don't pay attention to it and go out there every day and try my best.
HRR: Riding crop rules are a hot topic in horse
racing. If you had it your way, what would the rule be?
Jose Ortiz: Having a fair limit of overhand hits is
ideal for me.
HRR: Another topic that emerged at Aqueduct was the
coupling of Katie Davis and Trevor McCarthy because they got married. Why do
think racing boards view brothers riding in the same race differently than
Jose Ortiz: It is an old rule that hurt them this
year but had there have been a lot of brothers riding together way before me
HRR: Your career in the US started at PARX, in
Philadelphia but you are a big New York Mets fan. How did that happen?
Jose Ortiz: I was a Mets fan way before I came to US.
My favorite baseball player was Jose Reyes and I became a Mets fan because of
HRR: On your twitter feed, we saw your comment
regarding the recent Canelo Alvarez fight. If you and Irad put on the gloves,
tell us who wins and in what round?
Jose Ortiz: I would never fight my brother, so I
HRR: Finally, For the Preakness, you are on RISK
TAKING, how does he get to the winners' circle?
Jose Ortiz: Hopefully, the pace develops nicely in
front of me. I need to save some ground in the first turn. I had a bad draw and
need to improve my position in the backside.
Horse Racing Radar is grateful for your time Jose, good luck
this weekend. We'll hope to see you in Pimlico's winners' circle over and over
this weekend, especially in the Preakness.
Make sure you keep up with Jose at: