HRFLA Staff Report
After being dark this Monday and Tuesday, Gulfstream Park will resume racing on Wednesday with ten races and first post at 1:10 p.m.
The only carryover is on the Rainbow 6 , at $315,073. The 20 cents per combination-only bet is on races five through ten with the sequence scheduled to start at 3:11 p.m.
An important note for handicappers is that Irad Ortiz Jr., who leads jockeys in victories at Gulfstream’s 2020-2021 championship meet, will not be at the Hallandale Beach, Fla., track.
Ortiz (photo on home page) will be serving the third day of a five-day suspension that Gulfstream stewards handed down on him because of an incident in a race on March 5.
Ortiz’s next scheduled mounts are on Saturday March 20 at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, on a multiple graded stakes day.
It is anticipated that Ortiz will resume riding at Gulfstream on Sunday March 21.
Even though he is missing six days at Gulfstream, he has enough wins to assure a third straight championship meet title. That 84-day meet will end on March 28.
Ortiz has 131wins and he will have a chance to break the all-time Gulfstream meet record of 137, which Luis Saez set in 2018-2019.
Ortiz is a 27-year-old native of Puerto Rico. He won the Eclipse Award as top jockey for 2019 and 2020.
In the second race on March 5, Ortiz’s mount Passion Plus veered out entering the stretch and bumped into one horse that bumped into another.
Passion Plus won the race. Stewards conducted an inquiry, but took no action on the result. They suspended Ortiz several days later.
That incident and the suspension are not connected to a confrontation that Ortiz had with jockey Paco Lopez at Gulfstream on Feb 26.
In that day’s fourth race Known Agenda, ridden by Ortiz, was pulling ahead of Top Gun Tommy, ridden by Lopez, in the final turn.
Known Agenda moved out slightly, and was brushed from behind by Top Gun Tommy.
Known Agenda went on to win by eleven lengths in the 1 1/8 mile allowance/optional claiming race for 3-year-olds.
As Ortiz rode Known Agenda toward the winner’s circle, he was screaming at Lopez.
Lopez filed an objection, which the stewards disallowed.
After making a phone call to the stewards, Lopez was in a chair near the winner’s circle.
Ortiz approached Lopez and surprised him with three punches–a right to the jaw, followed by a left and then another right to the sides of his head.
Gulfstream fined Ortiz $1,000 for the incident. It put Ortiz and Lopez on probation for the remainder of the championship meet.
Lopez told the Daily Racing Form that he did not fight back because he was concerned about a possible suspension.
He has a history of Gulfstream stewards suspending him for careless riding, several times for 30 days.
Wednesday is the 75th day of the 84-day Gulfstream championship meet.
Irad Ortiz Jr, leads jockeys with 131 victories.
Tyler Gaffalione is second with 86 wins. He is followed by Luis Saez with 85 and Lopez with 83.
Edgard Zayas is fifth with 67 wins. Jose Ortiz, Irad’s younger brother, is sixth with 47.
Defending champion Todd Pletcher leads trainers with 52 wins. Saffie Joseph Jr. is second with 45, followed by Mike Maker with 39.
Gulfstream is guaranteeing that the payoff on the Rainbow 6 will be at least $600,000, including all of the coming-in carryover, if there is just one ticket with all six winners
On Sunday, the Rainbow 6 paid $16,386.52 on the 20 cent bet. HorseRacingFLA’s review of Equibase charts shows there were eleven tickets with all six winners,
Per its rules on days with multiple winning tickets, Gulfstream took out 20 percent of the day’s Rainbow 6 bet. It then divided 45 percent among tickets with six winners and added 24 percent to the carryover.