Irad Ortiz Jr. got on a roll Friday that it seemed only time could stop.
After coming up short in the first race at Gulfstream Park, Ortiz rode the next seven to put himself in exclusive company among jockeys.
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He got his seventh aboard Six Minus to win the eighth race on the card. His bid to tie the U.S. record of eight in a day came up short when Turn On the Charm finished seventh in the finale.
It was the first time a jockey had won seven consecutive races in the history of Gulfstream Park, which opened 84 years ago this week.
“It feels great. Everything worked out so good today. Everything came out perfect out there. It was one of those days where everything goes your way, so you enjoy it,” Ortiz told the Gulfstream Park communications team. “We had some live horses, and we always try to look on the positive side with them and ride them all with confidence. But every day doesn’t work like today. It’s hard, but today was one of those days.”
The reigning Eclipse Award-winning champion jockey also won with Dignified (5-2) for trainer José Garoffalo in the second, a seven-furlong, claiming race; favored Little Jewel (1-1) for Carlo Vaccarezza in the third, a six-furlong, maiden special weight on the turf; Lakota Territory (9-5) for Todd Pletcher in the fourth, a six-furlong maiden race; the favorite Riveting Spirit (5-2) for Saffie Joseph Jr. in the fifth, a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance; favored Tape to Tape (1-1) for Larry Rivelli in the sixth, an optional-claiming race going five furlongs on the Tapeta; and favorite Rhymes Like Dimes (6-5) for Joseph in the seventh, a one-mile claiming race.
Other than the last race, the only other loss for Ortiz came when the favorite Maclin (7-5) finished fifth in the opener.
According to Gulfstream Park records, Luis Sáez had two seven-win days in 2018, on Jan. 24 and March 29. Jerry Bailey established the track record of seven on March 11, 1995, and Tyler Gaffalione tied it on July 4, 2017. Paco López had been the most recent with seven Gulfstream wins March 21, 2020.
|GP jockeys’ biggest days||Wins||Mounts||Date|
|Jerry Bailey||7||10||March 11, 1995|
|Tyler Gaffalione||7||11||July 4, 2017|
|Luis Sáez||7||9||Jan. 24, 2018|
|Luis Sáez||7||8||March 29, 2018|
|Paco López||7||12||March 21, 2020|
|Irad Ortiz Jr.||7||9||Feb. 4, 2023|