Irad Ortiz, Jr. and his younger brother Jose, who between them have won the last two Eclipse Awards as champion jockey, will be sponsored by TVG, officials at the network announced Thursday. The jockeys will carry the TVG logo on their riding pants, while their likenesses will appear in TVG advertisements and promotions and will make special appearances for the network. The Ortizes join Hall of Famers Mike Smith and John Velazquez are jockeys to be sponsored by TVG.
“TVG has a legacy of supporting the racing industry and jockeys, in particular, and we are proud to partner with these two talented young riders at the top of their profession,” said Enrico Rusi, General Manager of TVG, Racing. “We are also excited to give TVG viewers and account holders the chance to get to know Irad and Jose a little better through enhanced content and features throughout the year.”
Added Jose Ortiz: “We are excited to partner with TVG. We are big fans of TVG and when we aren’t on the track riding, we usually are watching. This is a great opportunity to get to use our platform to give back to the racing community through the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and the Puerto Rico Vocational Jockey School (Escuela Vocacional Hipica).”
For the second consecutive year, TVG is planning to hold a telethon to benefit the PDJF. The inaugural event in 2018 raised over $217,000 to aid former riders who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries.