By Gulfstream Press Staff — Out of action since Feb. 22, jockey Jose Ortiz didn’t take long to return to his winning ways, scoring aboard his first mount back Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Ortiz guided Extraordinary ($7) to a dominating 6 ¼-length victory in Race 8, a mile maiden special weight race for 3-year-olds.
“It’s very emotional because it’s tough when you’re coming off an injury,” Ortiz said. “Some people might not ride you because they think you’re not ready. You come out like that, throwing punches, and they know I’m ready.”
Ortiz injured his wrist Feb. 22 while being unseated by first-time starter Atone in the post parade for Race 3, falling awkwardly while maintaining a tight hold of the reins. He went ahead and rode the fractious Atone to a sixth-place finish before taking off his remaining mounts and getting his right wrist x-rayed.
Ortiz, who won the 2017 Eclipse Award as North America’s top jockey and younger brother of reigning two-time Eclipse champion Irad Ortiz Jr., underwent blood flow restriction therapy at a Miami center that also treats professional basketball and football players.
“If I wasn’t ready, I wouldn’t be riding. It’s not easy to control these animals with one hand,” Ortiz said. “I’m very happy. I want to thank my family and my doctors.”
Ortiz had ridden Rodolphe Brisset-trained Extraordinary in his Feb. 8 debut, in which the son of Speightstown encountered bumping leaving the gate before finishing fourth.
Sunday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $1.4 Million
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 will offer a guaranteed jackpot pool of $1.4 million Sunday at Gulfstream Park.
The popular multi-race wager went unsolved for the 13th racing day in a row Saturday since being hit for a jackpot of $468,945 Feb. 27.
Multiple tickets with all six winners Saturday were each worth $14,577.54.
The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.
Sunday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 5-10.
First-race post time for Sunday’s 10-race program is set for 1 p.m.