John Ortiz

Brightwork Heads Breeders' Cup Work Tab

With the 40th Breeders' Cup World Championships less than two weeks away, a number of hopefuls worked Saturday morning at Keeneland as they make their final preparations before shipping to Santa Anita. Trainer John Ortiz took GISW Brightwork (Outwork) out for a spin on Saturday with William Simon, owner of WSS Racing, on hand as the bay filly points towards the GI NetJets Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 3. Working with 4 G Racing's GSP Crown Imperial (Classic Empire), a candidate for the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf also...

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Stars Bright As Keeneland's Fall Trumpet Sounds

The fall isn't really, The Fall, until Keeneland arrives. Well, get your steaming pot of burgoo ready, because it's here. Scheduled for Friday, Oct. 6, the meet's opening day at the Old Keene Farm is upon us and the 10-race card includes a trio of graded stakes which all have Breeders' Cup 'Win and You're In' implications. Leading off is the GII Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix S. for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs on the Main Track. Suitors for the GI Breeders' Cup Qatar Racing Sprint include MSW Bango...

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Unbeaten Brightwork Preps For Keeneland's Opening Day

WSS Racing's undefeated Brightwork (Outwork) completed her major preparations for next Friday's GI Darley Alcibiades by working a half-mile in :48.60 over a fast track Friday morning. With Ricardo Santana Jr. aboard, Brightwork produced fractions of :24.60, :48.60 and galloped out 5 furlongs in 1:01.40. Last Friday here, Brightwork produced a best-of-20 half-mile in :47. "That was very perfect, and I am grateful that Ricardo made the drive over from Louisville both times to work her," trainer John Ortiz said. "Last week was a good drill for speed, and this...

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Classic Empire Filly Delivers Untapable Upset

Crown Imperial (f, 2, Classic Empire--Mi Fiori, by Congrats), beaten just a nose by the streaking Amidst Waves (Midshipman) in Saratoga's Bolton Landing S. Aug. 20, delivered a 13-1 upset in Wednesday's $500,000 Pepsi Untapable S. at Kentucky Downs. She was outsprinted in eighth through scorching early fractions of :20.79 and :44.32, and, after diving toward an inviting opening toward the inside beneath Ricardo Santana, Jr. in the stretch, came alive to get the money by 1 1/4 lengths. Copper Em (Copper Bullet) was second; Buttercream Babe (Twirling Candy) was...

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Daughter of Outwork Remains Undefeated in Spinaway

It was always billed as a potential match race in Saratoga's closing weekend feature for the 2-year-old fillies. And so it came down to GIII Adirondack winner Brightwork (Outwork) and 'TDN Rising Star' Ways and Means (Practical Joke) in a stretch duel. In the end, experience won out and Brightwork kept her perfect record intact with a gusty effort to win Sunday's GI Spinaway S. A flashy maiden winner at Keeneland over G2 Queen Mary S. winner Crimson Advocate (Nyquist), Brightwork earned her next win in stakes company with a...

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Flashy Maiden Winners Take on Saratoga Stakes Winners in Loaded Spinaway

'TDN Rising Star' Ways and Means (Practical Joke), one of the more impressive maiden winners this summer at Saratoga, will square off with unbeaten GIII Adirondack S. heroine Brightwork (Outwork) in a deep renewal of Sunday's GI Spinaway S. at the Spa. Ways and Means, a homebred for Klaravich Stables, earned a field-best 90 Beyer Speed Figure for her geared-down 12 3/4-length debut victory going six furlongs Aug. 6. She'll take on an additional furlong in the Spinaway. "She's had two easy works since, and she looks fine," trainer Chad...

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Bullet Drill for Scotland Ahead of Travers

LNJ Foxwoods' Scotland (Good Magic), last-out winner of the July 21 Curlin S., tuned up for Saturday's GI Travers S. with a four-furlong move in :47.60 (1/68) over the Oklahoma training track Sunday in Saratoga. "It was a good, useful work," said trainer Bill Mott. "He galloped out well and seemed to have good energy and to be moving well. It was fast enough. I think we're fit enough." A debut winner at Gulfstream in March, Scotland was nosed out of an allowance victory at Keeneland in April before taking...

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Ortiz Barn Shines Bright with Undefeated Filly

John Ortiz draws the analogy of playing cards to what it feels like going into a stakes race at Saratoga. Everyone keeps their hand close and you never can tell who might be bluffing. But the trainer of Brightwork (Outwork) may have let his poker face slip when he spoke with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the paddock ahead of the GIII Adirondack S. on Sunday. "I walked in there confident and with a smile," Ortiz shared. "Irad had worked her and I said, 'You know what you've got and I...

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Brightwork Stays Perfect In Adirondack, Collects First Graded Win

Brightwork made short work of her rivals Sunday to remain undefeated in Saratoga's GIII Adirondack S. Sent off at 5-1 while stepping up to graded company for the first time, the filly broke running and thrust herself into the mix as 5-2 lukewarm favorite Here U Come Again and Streaming Now led through an opening quarter in a snappy :22.1. Swung out several paths turning for home, Brightwork swept to the front midstretch under strong encouragement by Irad Ortiz Jr. and drew clear to triumph by five emphatic lengths over...

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Lured By Huge Purses, British Rider McEntee to Debut at Turfway

Unless you are riding in the very best races for the best stables, it's not easy being a jockey in Great Britain. Prize money in the bread-and-butter races is dreadful and, even in these lower-level events, the competition for mounts can be fierce. Four years into her career, 22-year-old jockey Grace McEntee had had enough. In search of a better life, she booked a one-way ticket to Kentucky and will begin the next stage of her career Saturday at Turfway Park when she makes her U.S. debut. "This is very...

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$15,000 Weanling Takes Connections to First Kentucky Derby

Barber Road (Race Day) may be one of the longer shots on the board come the first Saturday in May, but there is one thing former Walmart CEO Bill Simon is sure of when it comes to his GI Kentucky Derby hopeful. "I don't know what's going to happen, but I can promise that at the end of the race he's going to be running as hard as he can and he'll be moving forward," Simon said. Trained by John Ortiz, Barber Road has placed in each of the three...

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Cyberknife Fine after Arkansas Derby Win

Gold Square LLC's Cyberknife (Gun Runner) exited his win in Saturday's GI Arkansas Derby in fine shape and is expected to ship to Louisville Tuesday to continue preparations for the May 7 GI Kentucky Derby. The colt, who was making his second stakes appearance after a sixth-place effort in the Jan. 22 GIII Lecomte S., continued a trend of frisky behavior Saturday at Oaklawn when dumping jockey Florent Geroux in the post parade. "I was too far away to do anything about it, but Florent was able to jump up...

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