Jose Ortiz Celebrates a Win Aboard Chad Brown Trained Structor
Photo Credit-Carolyn Simancik- Eclipse Sportswire / Breeders’ Cup Photos ©
New York-based jockeys landed in California and took over on Friday with Jose Ortiz, Irad Ortiz, Jr., Manny Franco and Hall of Famer Javier Castellano winning all but one of the races on Future Stars Friday at the 2019 Breeders’ Cup from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.
Jose Ortiz increased his Breeders’ Cup total to three after winning the Grade 1, $1 million Juvenile Turf aboard Structor for New York-based conditioner Chad Brown. Jose Ortiz now leads in the race for the Bill Shoemaker Award, given to the most outstanding jockey of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park.
The Shoemaker Award goes to the jockey who rides the most winners in the 14 Breeders’ Cup World Championship races every year. Should there be a tie for most races won, the tiebreaker will be a 10-3-1 point system for second- through fourth-place finishes. Of the winning riders, two posted runner-up finishes. Ortiz was second on Chimney Rock in the Juvenile Turf Sprint and Flavien Prat, who won the Juvenile aboard Storm the Court, was second on Donna Veloce in the Juvenile Fillies.
Breeze Easy’s Four Wheel Drive parlayed a winning effort in the Grade 3 Futurity at Belmont Park on October 6 to a score in the Grade 2, $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint to kick off Friday’s Breeders’ Cup card. Piloted by Irad Ortiz, Jr. for trainer Wesley Ward, Four Wheel Drive went wire to wire en route to a three-quarter length score. He covered five furlongs in 55.66.
“I got a good trip. He broke good and put me on the lead,” said Ortiz, Jr., who picked up his sixth Breeders’ Cup win. “He was relaxed and turning for home when I asked him, he responded. He ran really well. He’s a nice horse.”
Chimney Rock, with Ortiz up for trainer Mike Maker, finished second with Another Miracle, trained by Gary Contessa and piloted by Franco, in third. Hall of Famer John Velazquez, aboard Kimari, completed the superfecta.
In the Juvenile Turf, Jeff Drown and Don Rachel’s Structor remained undefeated with a perfect covered-up trip from Ortiz before surging to a three-quarter length score in the one-mile turf event in a final time of 1:35.11. Trained by three-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown, Structor won on debut at Saratoga Race Course on August 31 leading into a head score in the Grade 3 Pilgrim on September 28 at Belmont Park.
“He’s just improving so much every week, this horse,” said Brown, who led all trainers in wins at the recently concluded Belmont fall meet. “We’ve always thought a lot of him and he’s come in here and been improving week to week. His last race was very impressive to me. We thought he was sitting on another good race.”
Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stables undefeated British Idiom, piloted by Castellano, overcame a troubled trip to collar Donna Veloce in the final stride in the Grade 1, $2 million Juvenile Fillies. Trained by Brad Cox, British Idiom won her August 15 debut at Saratoga in a Maiden Allowance Auction Series sprint, restricted to 2-year-olds purchased for $45,000 or less at their most recent auction, en route to a score in the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades. It was the 11th Breeders’ Cup win for Castellano.
Franco, leading rider at the Belmont fall meet, guided Sharing to a convincing score in the Grade 1, $2 million Juvenile Fillies Turf. Trained by Graham Motion for Eclipse Thoroughbreds and Gainseway Stable, Franco utilized a stalking trip in the one-mile turf tilt overtaking Sweet Melania down the lane for a 1 -1/4-length score. The Speightstown chestnut graduated on August 18 at Saratoga ahead of a score in the Selima at Laurel.
The victory marked the first Breeders’ Cup win for Franco in his 13th attempt.
“She broke so nice out of the gate and got the position behind the speed I wanted,” said Franco. “Down the backside, she settled pretty nicely. By the three-eighths pole, I waited for the right moment to make my move and she was there for me.”
In the featured Grade 1, $2 million Juvenile, favored Dennis’ Moment, with Irad Ortiz, Jr. up, stumbled out of the gate compromising his chances as 45-1 longshot Storm the Court bested 28-1 Anneau d’Or in a thrilling stretch drive