Woo Pig Sooie, How They Call the Hogs in Arkansas

April 11, 2020

Get ready for a wild call in race 4 at Oaklawn 

Woopigsooie is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in a two-turn entry-level allowance race April 11 for trainer John Ortiz. Yes, that’s the colt’s Jockey Club name and good luck to Oakland Park announcer, Vic Stauffer, when calling this race! Owned by John Fox’s Woo Pig Stables of Bryant, Ark., his name originates from “Woo Pig Sooie,” the popular chant of University of Arkansas athletics.

Starting from post 7 in a field of 10, the Florida-bred goes off at 8/1 morning line odds carrying 117 pounds under jockey Ramon A. Vazquez. Post time for race 4, the $80,000 allowance optional claimer, is 2:10 PM edt. 

With a record of one win and two seconds in three starts, Woopigsooie hasn’t started since finishing second in the $75,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity Sept. 7, 2019, at Arlington Park. The son of multiple Oaklawn stakes winner and Breeders’ Cup Sprint champ Secret Circle,  he had his last workout at Oaklawn April 4 breezing 5 furlongs in 1:02.60 over a sloppy track ranking 13 of 33.

“I think he’s going to do like his daddy – he’ll take to this track,” Ortiz said. “I’ve worked him over the mud, so, hopefully, I get a muddy track. He loved the track today. This track is always muddy, it seems.”

Ortiz said if he wins his 3-year-old debut, Woopigsooie will be pointed towards the Arkansas Derby (G1) May 2. “That’s the goal,” Ortiz said. “I think he’s that type of quality of horse. He’ll tell us. He might need a race or two, but only time will tell.”

A single-season personal best in Hot Springs, Ortiz was tied for ninth in last year’s trainer standings with 14 victories. His stable set a career-high for purse earnings ($1,754,772) in 2019 through early December.

John Ortiz worked under Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, Kentucky Derby-winning trainers Graham Motion and Barclay Tagg and trainer Kellyn Gorder before going out on his own in November 2016. He credits four-time leading owner Danny Caldwell for helping secure one of his first major clients, Thomas Julian.

Ortiz saddled his first career winner Dec. 7, 2016, at Turfway Park. Sully’s Dream gave him with his first stakes victory in the Houston Distaff in Jan. 2018 at Sam Houston. In October 2018 the conditioner had his first graded stakes victory with Zulu Alpha in the Sycamore (G3) at Keeneland. Ortiz claimed Zulu Alpha for $80,000 in September 2018 at Churchill Downs for Arkansas owner Michael Hui. 

On behalf of Arkansan clients Brian “Hootie” Moore, William Simon and Brent Gasaway, Ortiz won a 12-way shake to claim Honey Bunny for $16,000 out of an April 8, 2018, victory at Oaklawn. Honey Bunny won two races at the 2019 Oaklawn meet and the $100,000 Winning Colors Stakes (G3) May 25 at Churchill Downs before selling at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale for $300,000.

Mr Dumas, owned by Moore and Simon, gave Ortiz his biggest career victory to date in the $175,000 Commonwealth Turf Cup Stakes (G3) Nov. 9, 2019, at Churchill Downs.

In February 2020 Ortiz placed third with Cairenn in the Bayakoa Stakes (Gr. 3) at Oaklawn with jockey John Velasquez up. A 6-year-old daughter of First Dude, she has placed second or third in 11 stakes out of 24 starts including listed black type and graded. Cairenn won the Shine Again Stakes (Black Type) at Laurel Park and a handicap at Colonial Downs for trainer Graham Motion.

John Ortiz was born into the business. His father, Carlos, is a former jockey who now operates Ortiz Training Stables in Ocala, Fla., where he breaks and pinhooks horses.

Past The Wire Staff 

Photo: Woopigsooie broke his maiden winning at 5-furlongs in 59.08 at Indian Grand in Feb.2019. 

Credit: Ortiz Racing Stables Facebook

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