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After Jeff Ruby, José Ortiz will remain in Kentucky this spring




Candice Chavez / Eclipse Sportswire

Jockey José Ortiz is named to ride eight races Saturday at Turfway Park and, after Jeff Ruby Steaks day, fans in Kentucky will begin to see his name regularly in the program as he’s slated to ride full-time this spring at Keeneland and Churchill Downs.

For many years Ortiz has been a regular rider on the New York circuit during the spring and summer, and this will be the first time he’ll remain in Kentucky. Agent Steve Rushing, who also takes the calls for Ortiz’s Eclipse Award-winning brother Irad Ortiz Jr., will continue to have his book in Kentucky.

Among Ortiz’ many mounts Saturday is Sam F. Davis (Grade 3) runner-up Agate Road in the $700,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. Listed at 4-1 on the morning-line odds, Agate Road was cross-entered in Saturday’s Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds, but Pletcher stated he’s “leaning towards” running the son of Quality Road at Turfway.

Other notable mounts for Ortiz Saturday at Turfway include Wolfie’s Dynaghost in the $300,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (G3) and Blue Eyed George in the $250,000 Rushaway.

Ortiz will make a brief return to Florida after Jeff Ruby Steaks day but will be back to Kentucky when Keeneland’s spring meet begins Friday, April 5.

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