Social Paranoia takes Dueling Ground Derby, caps Ortiz's big weekend

September 08, 2019 06:19pm
Jockey Jose Ortiz (3-8-15)
Photo: Joe Labozzetta/NYRA

Jose Ortiz capped a profitable and prolific Kentucky Downs weekend Sunday when he piloted Social Paranoia to victory in the $600,000 Dueling Grounds Derby.

Ortiz swept both of Sunday’s feature events, also taking the $350,000 Dueling Grounds Oaks aboard Princesa Carolina.

Those scores followed Saturday stakes victories on Ms Bad Behavior in the Grade 3, $500,000 Ladies Turf Stakes and on Zulu Alpha in the $1 million Kentucky Turf Cup (G3).

Between Saturday and Sunday, Ortiz won seven of his 17 starts over the turf in Franklin, Ky.

Ortiz’s Dueling Grounds Derby score came in a race where his mount, the Todd Pletcher-trained Social Paranoia, went off the 1-2 favorite.

Social Paranoia broke Sunday from the inside post in the 1 5/16-mile trip for 3-year-olds. The colt stayed third behind 23-1 longshot pace-setter Temple and Ry’s the Guy approaching the stretch.

Ortiz tucked Social Paranoia in behind Ry’s the Guy in early stretch as that one went to the lead. Social Paranoia then tipped outside and revved up for the final two furlongs.

After running in close quarters with Ry’s the Guy, Social Paranoia drew ahead and scored by ¾ of a length. He returned $3 to win, with Ry’s the Guy finishing second and Temple staying up for third.

"Great job by Todd, and his team,” Ortiz said. “The horse was ready. I was just a passenger out there. I tried to give him the best trip I can, and that’s what I did."

The Elkstone Group LLC (Stuart Grant) campaigns the Kentucky-bred Social Paranoia, a son of Street Boss.

With a 2-4-4 record over 11 lifetime starts, Social Paranoia shipped in from New York off runs of second July 6 in the Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) and fourth Aug. 4 in the inaugural Saratoga Derby Invitational.

Pletcher won the Dueling Grounds Derby for the second straight year following Channel Cat’s triumph last year.

“He’s always trained like a nice horse, always run well on both surfaces,” Pletcher said of Social Paranoia. “He’s obviously been really holding up with top competition. We felt like he’d handle the course, hoped to get an inside draw and a good trip and it worked out.”


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