Irad Ortiz Jr. Biography – Three-Time Eclipse Award Winning Jockey

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Irad Ortiz's bio

The Puerto Rico born jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. is a three-time Eclipse Award winner. Image Source: Irad Ortiz Jr.'s Instagram.

Last updated on June 12th, 2022 at 04:55 am

Irad Ortiz Jr. is a jockey who has been a leading rider in the New York Thoroughbred horse racing circuit since 2012. He is the 2018 Eclipse Award winner and has competed in different racing events. He has gained significant fame in his horse racing career.

Irad came into the limelight due to his professional success. So, many have shown curiosity to know about his personal life. Hence, let’s take a look at Irad Ortiz’s net worth, family, and many more.

Comes From A Jockey Family

Irad Ortiz Jr. was born in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico on August 11, 1992. He was named after his grandfather, Irad Ortiz, who was a horse rider.

Irad Ortiz Jr’s parents are Vilma Morales Adomo and Irad Ortiz. He comes from a family of jockeys as his uncle Ivan Ortiz and grandfather were horse riders. Furthermore, Ortiz’s brother, Jose L. Ortiz, aka Jose Ortiz, is also an Eclipse award-winning jockey.

The Ortiz brothers support each other and often compete together. Irad enrolled in a school for prospective jockeys, Puerto Rico’s Escuela Vocacional Hipica, when he was sixteen years old.

Irad Ortiz Jr. Net Worth And Career

Irad has become a household name in horse racing. Apart from fame, he has gained immense wealth in his career. While the amount is yet to be divulged, it can be assumed that Irad Ortiz Jr.’s net worth is a notable amount.

In January 2011, at Hipodromo Camarero in his native country, Irad started his professional riding career. Pito Rosa, an old friend of his grandfather and worker in the NYRA jockey’s room, encouraged him to come to New York, helped him find an agent, and even mentored him while he was settling in.

The 5′ 3″ tall rider’s first race in the USA was at Belmont Part, and his first win came a few days later aboard Millennium Jet. His big break came in June 2012 when he won an allowance race aboard the filly Questing. The horse racer has since competed in several racing events and secured victories in many of them.

Likewise, Irad guided his horse Mo Denegal to a 2022 Belmont Stakes win with a runtime of 2:28:28. This was the fourth win for Mo Denegal’s trainer Todd Pletcher. Irad had also won the 2016 edition of the tournament.

Apart from the wins, Puerto Rico-born jockey has earned a considerable sum. The table below shows some of Irad Ortiz’s income in his horse-riding career.

Year Earnings
2011 $2,861,694
2014 $20,270,828
2018 $27,727,039
2019 $34,109,019
2021 $29,274,435
2022 $10,852,416

Table Source: Equibase

As per Equibase, Irad has made career earnings of $239,602,801 and has 16,065 starts. He has also accumulated several awards in his professional career. Thus, looking at his earnings, Irad Ortiz Jr.’s net worth must be in the millions.

Also Read: Learn In Detail About Butler University Head Coach Thad Matta

Is Irad Ortiz Jr. Dating Anyone?

The Puerto Rican jockey is currently dating Meliza Betancourt. The couple are high school sweethearts who met in 2011 when he was in jockey school in Puerto Rico. The duo began dating on August 13, 2013, and has been inseparable ever since.

Irad Ortiz's Girlfriend
Irad and Meliza met in 2011 while he was at jockey school. Image Source: Irad Ortiz Jr.’s Instagram.

Irad often posts lovely pictures of his lady love. It has already been over half-decade since the pair have been dating. The duo is yet to tie the knot. But, let’s hope we get to hear wedding bells in the near future.

A Proud Father Of Three Children

Although Irad and his partner have not married, they have already welcomed kids. Irad Ortiz’s girlfriend gave birth to their first daughter Sarai Ortiz in February 2015. Two years later, in November, arrived his second little girl Saeli Ortiz. The youngest one is also a baby girl whose birth details and name have not been revealed yet.


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A post shared by Irad Ortiz (@irad_ortiz)

The renowned jockey often shares adorable pictures of their family. Nonetheless, Irad must be living a comfortable life with his girlfriend and children. As he is still actively working as a jockey, one cannot doubt that Irad Ortiz’s fortune will increase in the coming days. Let’s hope he gains more success in his work.

Trivia And Facts

  • Angel Cordero Jr. was one of his idols.
  • Irad won Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey thrice.