Early during the pandemic, Irad Ortiz was one of the few riders who voluntarily inactivated himself from the tracks to avoid contagion. (Juan Luis Martínez Pérez)
Two-time Eclipse award winner, Puerto Rican rider Irad Ortiz Jr. , tested positive for COVID-19 , which will further delay his return to the track.
Ortiz tested positive prior to his scheduled return to the tracks on Oct. 4 at Belmont Park Racecourse, the Daily Racing Form reported . Given the situation, Ortiz would be scheduled to compete again on October 8.
The contagion in the outstanding rider represents the latest blow of its kind to a renowned jockey in America. Others who have been infected and have lost mounts are the Venezuelan Javier Castellano, the Panamanian Luis Sáez and the French Flavien Prat.
This situation is the latest hurdle facing the United States equestrian leader this season. Early during the pandemic, Ortiz was one of the few riders who voluntarily inactivated himself from the tracks to avoid contagion. He lost at least a month of competition.
He subsequently missed three days of riding due to a wrist injury he suffered in August, during a critical time of the season at Saratoga. The injury occurred during a ride at that racetrack.
He is currently serving an imposed suspension that prevented him from starting the season at Belmont Park in mid-September. In fact, Ortiz hasn't ridden since the season concluded at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 16.
Despite all the setbacks, Ortiz leads the statistics for wins and money produced in North American horse racing. He has 234 wins and his mounts have produced over $ 14 million.