Edited Gulfstream Release — Leading rider Irad Ortiz Jt. rode four winners on Thursday’s program at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., moving to within two victories of the Championship Meet record.
Ortiz, the defending two-time Championship Meet titlist, won back-to-back aboard Ghostly Beauty ($3.60) in Race 4 and Trappezoid ($8.80) in Race 5 before scoring aboard Star Weaver ($4.40) in Race 7 and Foxxy Belle ($5.80) in Race 9.
With three days remaining in the 2020-2021 Championship Meet, Ortiz has a total of 135, two fewer than Luis Saez’s record of 137, set in 2017-2018.
Ortiz has seven mounts Friday and is named to ride in 13 of 14 races Saturday, when he is scheduled to ride Todd Pletcher-trained Known Agenda in the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa.
Ortiz, the defending three-time Eclipse Award champion, is also scheduled to ride in all 12 races on Sunday’s program.
Gonzalez Named on 4 Horses Saturday on First Day at Gulfstream
Journeyman Edwin Gonzalez, Penn National’s leading rider the last two years while winning at over a 30 percent clip, will begin his Gulfstream Park residency with four mounts on Saturday’s blockbuster 14-race Curlin Florida Derby Day program.
Gonzalez has mounts in two of Saturday’s 10 stakes – Frosted Grace in the $100,000 Sir Shackleton in Race 5 and Dizzy in the $100,000 Orchid (G3) in Race 13. He is also scheduled in a pair of maiden special weight events aboard 3-year-old colt Core in Race 1 and 3-year-old filly My Desdemona in Race 7. Gonzalez is named in seven of 12 races Sunday at Gulfstream, closing day of the 2020-2021 Championship Meet.
Gulfstream’s 105-day spring-summer meet is scheduled to open Thursday, April 1 and run through Thursday, Sept. 30.
A multiple group stakes winner in his native Puerto Rico, where he won 443 races before coming to the U.S. in 2013, Gonzalez owns 1,445 career victories. He ranked 14th overall in North American wins in 2020 (177) and 11th in 2019 (236).
Gonzalez was second in wins during the 2017 Tampa Bay Downs meet and won six races there on March 10 of that year. He will be represented by Kevin Meyocks, who also serves as agent for Luca Panici.
Winner of the 2017 Arlington Handicap (G3) with Ghost Hunter, Gonzalez last rode March 17 at Penn National, winning two races to push his meet-leading total to 36. He also won six races Feb. 17 and five races March 4.