Ortiz Hits 3,000

Jockey Gilbert Ortiz reaches the 3,000-win milestone.

Q-Racing Journal

Jockey Gilbert Ortiz celebrated his 3,000th career win with his friends, family, and fellow jockeys in the winner's circle at Evangeline Downs. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Respected jockey Gilbert Ortiz on Friday reached the milestone of 3,000 wins in his career. He did so at Evangeline Downs, riding Raul Penaloza Canada's Baby Separatista to victory in a 400-yard Evangeline Downs Futurity trial.

He is one of only seven jockeys to ever reach that point in American Quarter Horse racing history. 

The other jockeys to surpass 3,000 wins include active riders G.R. Carter Jr. (3,804 wins) and Eddie Garcia (3,101), and retired jockeys Alvin “Bubba” Brossette (3,631), Danny Cardoza (3,337), Kenneth Hart (3,199) and John Creager (3,047). Ortiz has made 20,035 official starts, and his mounts have earned more than $33.2 million on the track. 

Ortiz, 52, typically rides the Texas-Louisiana circuit and has won many top races, including the 2008 Dash For Cash Futurity (G1) aboard Show Me Your Toole and 2001 Heritage Place Futurity (G1) with Rdustys Chick.  Born in Pleasanton, Texas, he is the son of a jockey and honed his craft early, riding at smaller tracks as a teen before officially launching his career in 1978. 

Ortiz was honored in 2012 with the Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award, which is a peer-selected honor, is given to a jockey whose personal character on and off the track reflects positively on Quarter Horse racing.

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