By Ed Bain
On January 20th 2013 while Irad Ortiz had been racing for about 8 months in New York and his brother Jose, who was still a bug boy had been at the Big A for less than a month, the brothers won 7 races in a row. It was 37 degrees at Aqueduct and 83 in Puerto Rico where Irad and Jose grew up. The total 1st place purse money on these 7 races was $177,000. From these purses Irad and Jose collected their 10% commission for a total of $17,700 for one day.
Because the Ortiz brothers are from a tropical climate and Aqueduct is a winter track I decided to look at their stats during these cold rainy days at Aqueduct in the winter and the spring. I need to equate statistics to odds for me to understand what talent looks like in a figure so I put their exacta rate percentage to odds on all their statistics.
On snowy days Irad had a total of 22 races, he hit the exacta in 11 races for a 50% exacta hit rate in the snow. That’s odds of even money 1/1. On snowy days Jose went to post in 16 races, he hit the exacta 4 times for a 25% hit rate. That is exacta odds of 3/1.
On rainy days Irad raced 51 times, he hit the exacta 21 for a 41% exacta hit rate. That is exacta odds of 6/5. Jose had 44 races in the rain with 16 exacta hits for 36% strike rate. That is odds of 9/5 in the exacta.
On showery days Irad stats are 107-44-41% exacta hit rate that is odds of 9/5 and Jose stats are 87-33-38% an exacta hit rate that is odds of 8/5.
On cloudy days Irad had 608 races, he hit 269 exactas for a 44% hit rate that is exacta odds of 6/5. Jose stats on cloudy days are 667-294-44% for exacta odds of 6/5.
The move from a warm weather track to a cold weather track had no effect on Irad and Jose’s ability to race during the cold miserable racing days at Aqueduct even though they grew up in a tropical setting. It is 40 to 50 degrees colder in New York compared to Puerto Rico in the winter. These stats tell me that race riding is as much mental as physical. Irad and Jose came to Aqueduct to dominate the jockey standings and they have.
Irad has went to post 684 times as the favorite, he hit the exacta 418 times for a 61% hit rate that is 3/5 exacta odds. Jose raced as the favorite 482 times, he hit the exacta in 302 races for a favorite exacta hit of 63% also an odds rate is 3/5.
If you like to bet the exacta with the favorite the brothers raced as the favorite a total of 1,166 times and hit the exacta 720 times for a 62% hit rate. This means you can cash on a lot of exactas even when you make a mistake.
Since 2013 at Aqueduct racetrack jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. had 1,872 races, he has been in the exacta 805 times for a 43% exacta hit rate. Also at Aqueduct his brother jockey Jose Ortiz had 1,687 races and he has been in the exacta 709 times for a 42% exacta hit rate. These are forehead slapping amazingly consistent exacta hit rate betting statistics for the Ortiz brothers.
The exacta pools at Aqueduct can range from $100,000 to $350,000 per race and these big pools offer betting value. I bet the exacta and have statistics in my Jockey-Trainer Exacta report. These are for the number of win/place horses in the exacta with the hits awarded to the jockey.
I always bet a Key horse in the exacta for first and second and then use several filler horses with my key horse for the bet. I never bet a three or four horse exacta box. I apply odds to each of the Ortiz brother’s statistics and all the sub-sets that are part of their over all numbers. The reason is I can relate the odds on the toteboard with the percentages the Ortiz brothers produce on their stats and the odds give me an understanding how good Irad and Jose are to bet in the exacta.
I target 3/1 odds to bet and my favorite odds play is 3/1 which has a 25% win rate, 1 hit out of 4. Many trainers have around a 10% or more place rate. If you add in this 10% it makes that 25% win rate a 35% win/place rate for the exacta which is odds of 9/5. Irad has 215 races at 3/1, 83 hit and produced a 39% exacta hit rate and 8/5 odds. Jose had 218 races and 91 exacta’s for a 42% hit rate and 7/5 odds. Combined Irad and Jose went to post 433 times and cashed the exacta in 174 races with 3/1 odds and produced a percentage that is 40%. This is making 3/1 an overlay. These are very big profitable percentages to bet into. I know because I have cashed on a bunch of the Ortiz brothers 3/1 odds level.
I know most wins come from 6/1 and down so I separated by 6/1 and down and 7/1 and up, a long shot stat.
Irad had 275 races at 7/1 and up and 47 exacta hits for 17% strike rate which is a 5/1. Jose had 372 races, 62 exactas hits which is also a 5/1 odds line on his 7/1 shots and higher. Combined Irad and Jose had 647 longshot races and 109 exactas a 17% exacta hit rate. The average odds on these 7/1 and up horses is 13/1. The brothers have a 5/1 hit rate with 13/1 longshots
If you want to bet longshots bet into Irad and Jose’s 17% exacta rate on 7/1 and up odds level and you can make big scores. I know a few players who will tell you they would take a 10% hit rate and accept the 9 losers for every ten to hit a big exacta or trifecta. However, with a 10% hit rate you will have 20 to 25 losers in a row followed by a hit and then lose another 10 to 15 bets. Like race riding, betting is also a mental sport. It is better to know before you bet what your odds are on longshots. Betting 17% which is odds of 5/1 will cut into this kind of losing streak, will keep you in the game longer and minimize your expectations which makes the mental part of betting easier to understand.
Irad and Jose have made it very easy to bet their long shot runners.
I took the favorite out and separated by the 2nd favorite to 6/1 who are the contenders.
Irad had 898 races, he hit 339 exacta’s for a 38% exacta rate which equals 8/5 exacta odds. Jose stats for his 2nd favorite to 6/1 odds are 831-341- 41% which is 7/5 exacta odds. The 2nd favorite to 6/1 are contenders for the brothers. All total they went to post 1,729 races were in the exacta 680 times for a 39% hit rate which is a 9/5 exacta strike rate. Most of my bets on Irad and Jose are at this odds level. They hit regularly and consistently with this odds level.
These two jockey’s Irad Ortiz Jr and his brother Jose Ortiz are not lightweights. They are heavy weight contenders for the best jockeys in New York and in the U. S. A.
The future for Irad and Jose is with 2 year olds. Where they get on them as baby’s and race the best ones in Stakes races.
Since 2013 Irad rode 132 2 year olds, he hit on 47 for a 36% exacta rate and an odds level of 9/5. Jose raced 136 times and hit 60 exacta’s for a 44% hit rate and 6/5 odds.
They will find there way to the Graded Stakes races with theses kind of statistics on 2 year olds and they will ride them to the Kentucky Derby and in the Triple Crown races.
Hall of fame jockey Angel Cordero who is also from Puerto Rico is Irad and Jose’s idol. It would not surprise me if they consulted with Cordero about racing in New York and he told them “When the big stables go south to Gulfstream and the big time jocks go with them, you go to Aqueduct during winter racing. Establish your business with the hard knockers who stay at Aqueduct for the winter meet and the big outfits will give you big horses because of your talent to ride and race.” And if Angel Cordero told Irad and Jose to do that, it is exactly what they did. They have produced spectacular betting statistics from Aqueduct.
The question is why did I only produce stats from Aqueduct races? The answer is this is where they decided to start their career that cold winter day on Jan 20th 2013 and this is where they are racing today.
The brothers unparalleled run towards being the best jockeys in horse racing is on the track today so we can all see this brotherly racing phenomenon. Their numbers say they are there. As a horse better I have never seen numbers for two jockeys like Irad and Jose and what they produce on the track day after day is a head shaker and they are brothers.
From 2012 to today combined Irad and Jose Ortiz have 3,559 races at Aqueduct produced 1,514 exacta’s a 43% exacta hit rate and a 7/5 strike rate. Irad and Jose came from Puerto Rico to Aqueduct in the middle of the cold wet winter and did not see snow or the cold. They saw their talent would carry them straight to the top of the jockey colony and saw a green track at New York and are now in the top 5 jockeys in the country. 25 year old Irad Ortiz has an estimated net worth of $20 million. 24 year old Jose Ortiz has a net worth of $19 million. I would have given them a longshot chance 7/1 and up in their run to the top of the jockey colony at New York. After January 20th 2013 I would give them the stats they earned on their favorites, 3/5 what are the odds.
Today at Aqueduct there are 10 races. Irad and Jose Ortiz are named on 16. As a horseplayer who likes to cherry pick, it’s difficult to pick from 16 so I chose 2. Both plays are Jose Ortiz and trainer Linda Rice.
Race 5, the 9 horse, New Jersey John. Ortiz and Rice have raced 80 times in route races at Aqueduct, hit the exacta 39 times for a 49% exacta rate.
Race 10, the 2 horse Seymourdini. Ortiz and Rice in Stakes route races are 55-22-40%.
In Race 10, I’ll play the exacta with the 6 horse, Sharp Azteca. The trainer is Jorge Navarro and Javier Castellano with Navarro are 31-18-58% in the exacta and in Stakes Races 10-7-70% in the exacta.
The reason I’m choosing these two plays is Jose is married to another very good jockey named Taylor Rice. Taylor is the niece of Linda Rice and Linda Rice always speaks highly of both Jose and Irad and their abilities and because they are related by marriage, it’s pretty obvious that Linda Rice takes care of her family.