Jockey Jose Ortiz, injured in a February spill at Gulfstream Park, is "feeling 100 percent" and will return this month at Churchill downs, his agent, Jimmy Riccio, said Sunday.
Ortiz suffered a fractured wrist when he was thrown during a post-parade on Feb. 22. He got back in the saddle on March 14, but his wrist was still sore, Riccio said, and the 2017 Eclipse Award winner needed more time.
"Then corona happened, so he just didn't rush back."
Ortiz is married to Taylor Rice, who is part of a longtime racing family, and they have been staying at the family farm in Ocala, Fla.
"They have a bunch of horses on the farm down there, so he's been getting on," Riccio said.
Churchill Downs announced last week that it would begin racing, without spectators, on May 16.
"That's where he's heading," Riccio said of Ortiz. "He's ready to go, feeling 100 percent. Just kind of was waiting for New York or Kentucky to open to start back."
Ortiz's brother, reigning Eclipse Award winner Irad Ortiz Jr., also took off from racing for about a month because of the coronavirus pandemic. He returned to racing at Gulfstream Park on April 25.
Jose Ortiz claimed his own riding title for the 2017 season. This year, he has ridden 29 winners and holds the regular amount aboard horses such as 4-year-olds Tacitus and Guarana.
It will be great to see him back !!!!