Irad Ortiz Jr. wins 18th annual Bill Shoemaker Award, his third consecutive win

November 7, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Irad Ortiz Jr., one of five jockeys to win two races during the 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland Race Course, won the 18th annual Bill Shoemaker Award, given to the most outstanding jockey.  

The Shoemaker Award goes to the jockey who won the most races in the 14 World Championship races this weekend with the tiebreaker being a 10-3-1 point system for second- through fourth-place finishes. Ortiz also won the Shoemaker Award in 2018 and 2019.  

In addition to his two victories, Ortiz also had a second- and third-place finish, something Joel Rosario, Florent Geroux, John Velazquez and Pierre-Charles Boudot, who each won two races, did not.   

Ortiz’s victories came on Golden Pal (Juvenile Turf Sprint) and Whitmore (Sprint). He finished second on Improbable in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic and third on Sharp Samurai in the Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile.   

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.  

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.   

Press Release

Whitmore, ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., wins the Sprint on Breeders’ Cup Championship Saturday at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky on November 7, 2020. Alex Evers/Breeders’ Cup/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM

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