Horse Racing

Jose Ortiz switches agents, joins with haste

Ortiz’s two close brothers now have other things in common.

Eclipse award-winning driver Jose Ortiz said August 2 he will be parting ways with special agent Jimmy Riccio and has joined Steve Rushing, who also represents his brother, three-time Eclipse award winner Irad Ortiz Jr.

The move will take effect after the third condition book at Racecourse Saratoga starting with the August 17 card.

“I’ve been thinking about this for a while. My business isn’t what it used to be and I feel this is the right time to make a change,” said Jose Ortiz. “Doing something like this is never easy. I’ve been with Jimmy for a long time and he’s amazing. We’ve done so many great things together and I appreciate all of the things he does. She did it for me. But I feel like I need to change.”

Riccio and Ortiz have been a team since 2012, when the Puerto Rican native started moving to the US.

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Knowing Rushing through his brother, Ortiz said he was looking forward to working with his new agent.

“I know Steve very well, and we have a good relationship,” Ortiz said. “I’m excited to be working with Steve and hope we can continue and do great things together.”

Ortiz is currently 4th in the driver standings at the Saratoga meeting with 13 wins, nine games behind his meeting lead brother.

Since starting riding in 2012, Jose Ortiz has won 2,541 races from 13,738 starts with earnings of $206,587,189.

He has 135 wins this year, with earnings of $13,632,382.

28-year-old Ortiz was the New York Racing Association’s top driver last year with 185 wins.

Saratoga Equestrian Champion in 2019, Ortiz received the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Rider of the Year in 2017 as he won 270 races and earned $27.3 million.

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