Two brothers, Irad Jr. and José Ortiz, natives of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico had their well deserved glory yesterday in Saratoga Springs, when they both were presented with the Eclipse Award as part of the 26th annual Newton Plaza Siro’s Cup to benefit the Center for Disability Services Foundation, Inc.
The event held on the eve of the opening day of races at the Saratoga Race Course was attended by notables from the world of horse racing, but the event top notables were Irad Jr. and his brother José. Irad, 26, and José, 25 are only one year apart and still young in the jockey business, but each has already gone past the rising star phase of each of the careers.
In 2018, they ranked 1-2 in jockey earnings in North America, with Irad ($27.7 million on 346 wins) barely beating out José ($26.7 million on 264 wins). “These two brothers are amazing,” said legendary and Hall Of Fame jockey, Angel Cordero who was also a guest of honor. He continued, “These two young men have accomplished in one year what took me years to do.”
Along with the accolades showered on the brothers by many of the admiring guests, the highlight was when each of the brothers was presented with a water colored art piece of each riding on their most notable race. The painting was presented by James Fiorentino the nationally known artist who is also provides the awards for the prestigious LatinoMVP awards for Latino baseball players.
I asked Irad where was his piece going to be displayed and he smiled and said, “this is going to be in the center of my living room wall.” José smiled and said “same for me.”
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