Irad Ortiz Jr. Wins Record Fifth Bill Shoemaker Award at Breeders’ Cup

Irad Ortiz Jr. is celebrating a winning weekend with a special title.

The 31-year-old Puerto Rican jockey, who guided three horses to Breeders’ Cup victories November 3-4 at Santa Anita during the World Championships, won the 21st Bill Shoemaker Award as the outstanding jockey of the event.

Irad Ortiz Jr.,The Shoemaker Award goes to the jockey who rides the most winners in the 14 championship races with the tiebreaker being a 10-3-1 point system for second- through fourth-place finishes.

Ortiz clinched his fifth Shoemaker Award by riding Elite Power to victory Saturday afternoon in the Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), the final Breeders’ Cup race of the weekend.

Ortiz also rode his other winners on Saturday: White Abarrio in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and Goodnight Olive in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).

Two riders had two victories each over the weekend: Junior Alvarado and Ryan Moore.

Alvarado won Friday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) on Cody’s Wish.

Moore won Friday’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) on Unquestionable (FR) and Saturday’s $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) on Auguste Rodin (IRE).

The Shoemaker Award is named in honor of one of the greatest jockeys in the history of Thoroughbred racing. Bill Shoemaker, who captured the Kentucky Derby four times, won 8,833 races in a career that spanned more than 40 years. In 1987, at age 56, Shoemaker won the Breeders’ Cup Classic aboard Ferdinand at Hollywood Park.

With this year’s win, Ortiz breaks a tie for most Shoemaker Award wins with Garrett Gomez (4).

Bill Shoemaker Award winners: 

2003: Alex Solis
2004: John Velazquez
2005: Garrett Gomez
2006: Frankie Dettori
2007: Garrett Gomez
2008: Garrett Gomez
2009: Julien Leparoux
2010: Garrett Gomez
2011: John Velazquez
2012: Mike Smith
2013: Mike Smith
2014: John Velazquez
2015: Ryan Moore
2016: Mike Smith
2017: Javier Castellano
2018: Irad Ortiz Jr.
2019: Irad Ortiz Jr.
2020: Irad Ortiz Jr.
2021: Irad Ortiz Jr.
2022: Ryan Moore
2023: Irad Ortiz Jr.

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