The New York Race Track Chaplaincy will recognize Irad Ortiz, Jr. for his work with the backstretch community during its 2021 summer fundraiser at Saratoga. Ortiz, winner of the Eclipse award in 2018-19 as the nation's leading jockey, is a Puerto Rican native who has won nearly 2,700 races and earned nearly $200 million to date.
The NY Chaplaincy serves the state's backstretch community with children's enrichment, social services, recreational and educational programming, and non-denominational religious services.
“Since his arrival on the New York Racing Association circuit, [Ortiz] has demonstrated a deep appreciation for our backstretch community, and his actions have directly and indirectly improved the quality of life for those who make their living caring for horses,” said Humberto Chavez, the chaplain for the NY Chaplaincy. “He is immensely deserving of this honor.”
Ortiz will be presented with an original painting by equine artist Tom Chapman at a brunch at the Saratoga National Golf Club, provided COVID-19 restrictions lift. Previous honorees have included Anne Campbell, Edgar Prado, Michael Dubb, Fay and David Donk, Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson, Letty and Kiaran McLaughlin, Lisa and Kenny Troutt, Debbie and Terry Finley, and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.