July 24, 2024

Irad Ortiz Jr. – 2019 Outstanding Jockey; Kazushi Kimura – 2019 Outstanding Apprentice Jockey

Irad Ortiz Jr. (c) Adam Coglianese

Irad Ortiz Jr. established a new single-season earnings record ($34,109,019) for North American jockeys in 2019, smashing the previous mark by becoming the first to exceed $30 million, and the 27-year-old native of Puerto Rico easily garnered his second consecutive Eclipse Award.

He also led the nation in wins (324) for the second straight year.

Ortiz Jr. won multiple riding titles once again in 2019, traveling cross-country to win major races throughout the season. He became the first jockey since Alex Solis in 2003 to capture both the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and Turf (G1), piloting Vino Rosso and Bricks and Mortar to respective wins.

Bricks and Mortar earned Horse of the Year, winning six major stakes over six different courses with Ortiz Jr.

Ortiz Jr. won a total of four Breeders’ Cup races at Santa Anita, and he rides many top horses for leading trainer Chad Brown.

Javier Castellano 21
Flavien Prat 5

Kazushi Kimura, who won 117 races before losing his bug on Oct. 26, received the Eclipse Award for leading apprentice jockey. He topped all North American apprentices in earnings with $3.7 million.

After winning 244 races in his native Puerto Rico, Kimura shifted his tack to Woodbine and was the third leading rider by wins at the Toronto track in 2019. He also earned the Sovereign Award for outstanding apprentice in Canada.

Kimura, who edged Julio Correa by 14 first-place votes, joins Emma-Jayne Wilson (2005) and Omar Moreno (2010) as Canadian-based apprentices to win the Eclipse Award this century.

Julio Correa 60
Angel Diaz 53