Irad Ortiz Jr. © Eclipse Sportswire / Breeders’ Cup
Irad Ortiz Jr. won his fourth consecutive Bill Shoemaker Award, given to the most outstanding jockey at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar.
The Shoemaker Award goes to the jockey who won the most races in the 14 World Championship races this weekend with the tiebreaker being a 10-3-1 point system for second- through fourth-place finishes.
Ortiz and William Buick both won three races, but Ortiz also had a runner-up finish and three fourth-place finishes while Buick finished fifth with his only other mount.
Ortiz won the first Championship race of the weekend on Twilight Gleaming (IRE) in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G2) and then added Saturday victories in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) with Golden Pal and the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) with Life Is Good.
Buick also had one victory Friday on Modern Games (IRE) in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and then two on Saturday with Space Blues (IRE) in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) presented by PDJF and Yibir (GB) in the Longines Turf (G1).
Two other riders posted multiple wins: Joel Rosario and Jose Ortiz.
Rosario took the richest race of the weekend, the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) with Knicks Go and Friday’s NetJets Juvenile Fillies (G1).
Ortiz’s victories came on Pizza Bianca in Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) and Aloha West in the Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).
The Shoemaker Award is named in honor of one of the greatest jockeys in the history of Thoroughbred racing. Bill Shoemaker, who captured the Kentucky Derby four times, won 8,833 races in a career that spanned more than 40 years. In 1987, at age 56, Shoemaker won the Breeders’ Cup Classic aboard Ferdinand at Hollywood Park.
Bill Shoemaker Award winners:
2003: Alex Solis
2004: John Velazquez
2005: Garrett Gomez
2006: Frankie Dettori
2007: Garrett Gomez
2008: Garrett Gomez
2009: Julien Leparoux
2010: Garrett Gomez
2011: John Velazquez
2012: Mike Smith
2013: Mike Smith
2014: John Velazquez
2015: Ryan Moore
2016: Mike Smith
2017: Javier Castellano
2018: Irad Ortiz Jr.
2019: Irad Ortiz Jr.
2020: Irad Ortiz Jr.
2021: Irad Ortiz Jr.