A nasty fall riding in a race earlier this week not only sidelined jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., it proved costly on Saturday's Belmont Stakes card.
Ortiz had to take off all 12 of his mounts because of his injuries, including a ride on Known Agenda in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes.
The jockeys who picked up the rides got hot horses, with five of them winning, including three guided by Ortiz's younger brother, Jose. Known Agenda finished fourth in the Belmont, won by 6-5 favorite Essential Quality.
Jose Ortiz won the first race with Wit ($2.90), the $400,000 Woody Stephens with Drain the Clock ($17) and the $500,000 Ogden Phipps with Letruska ($4.40).
Flavien Prat replaced Irad Ortiz in the second race and won with Soft Power ($11.20), while Javier Castellano picked up and won with Search Results ($3.80) in $400,000 Acorn.
Irad Ortiz was trampled and kicked in the head by the horse ridden by Jose after his fall but only required stitches on his left arm and head. Jose Ortiz said Friday his brother was doing well, adding, “It could’ve been a lot worse.”
PRAT GETS SECOND
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Despite winning the Preakness aboard Rombauer, Prat honored a post-Kentucky Derby commitment to ride Hot Rod Charlie. Hot Rod Charlie trainer Doug O’Neill said Prat and his agent “never wavered” about keeping their word.
That turned out OK for everyone in the Belmont Stakes, as Prat rode Hot Rod Charlie to a close second behind Essential Quality. Hall of Famer John Velazquez replaced Prat on Rombauer, who finished third by more than 10 lengths.
SEARCH RESULTS TAKES ACORN
Five weeks after losing to Malathaat in the Kentucky Oaks, Search Results held off hard-charging Obligatory to win the Acorn for trainer Chad Brown.
“I'm just so proud of her to come back in five weeks after a real dog fight with Malathaat,” Brown said. “To bounce right back and lay it on the line again, this filly has so much talent and so much heart. She's a very rare kind of horse to have, and we're so lucky to have her.”
SILVER STATE WINS $1 MILLION MET
Silver State with Ricardo Santana Jr. aboard won the $1 million Metropolitan by a length over By My Standards with Mischevious Alex third and favorite Knicks go fourth in the five-horse field.
The Steve Asmussen-trained 4-year-old has won his last six races. This victory earned Silver State a spot in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile this fall.
The scene at the Belmont Stakes was a return to normalcy, even if it wasn't quite the crowd of 100,000-plus that would attend if a Triple Crown were on the line. For one thing, it was more quiet than usual.
Mostly maskless fans had no trouble finding room to walk around the vast grandstand hours before the running of the $1.5 million, 1 1/2-mile race. While New York State removed the cap on attendance amid easing of pandemic restrictions, the crowd reached a total of 11,238.
There was no walkup crowd possible because fans were required to pre-purchase tickets.
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