Irad Ortiz Returns to Riding Saturday

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Irad OrtizSarah Andrew

Leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr., returns to racing at Gulfstream Saturday for the first time since Mar. 19. The two-time Eclipse winner, who stopped riding due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has mounts in nine of 12 races Saturday, including favored Dr Post (Quality Road) in the Unbridled S. He is also named in seven of 11 races in Hallandale Sunday.

“I'm very excited to be back riding,” Ortiz said. “Thank God, I have the help from all the owners and trainers. A lot of people support me here, so I appreciate that very much.”

Ortiz stopped riding eight days before the end of the Championship meet, which cost him his third title, losing by two to Luis Saez.

“It's been hard, to be honest, just being home,” Ortiz said. “I've been home with my babies and my wife. It's hard for everyone with everything going on right now out there in the world with the virus. But, I see that Gulfstream has done a great job and they don't have any cases. They've been doing a great job keeping everyone safe.”

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