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Jose Ortiz picks up winning mount Letruska from injured brother Irad

Letruska, with jockey Jose Ortiz up, crosses the

Letruska, with jockey Jose Ortiz up, crosses the finish line to win the 53rd running of the Ogden Phipps, Saturday, June 5, 2021, at Belmont Park. Credit: AP/Seth Wenig

Irad Ortiz Jr. was supposed to be aboard Known Agenda in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. But Thursday’s card at Belmont Park left a known agenda for the horse’s trainer, Todd Pletcher — find another jockey.

Ortiz, who won the 2016 Belmont on Creator, got hurt when he was thrown from his horse and then got clipped by another. But Pletcher named a replacement earlier Saturday who knew the injured jockey rather well: Jose Ortiz, Irad’s younger brother.

Known Agenda ended up fourth.

Jose had tweeted about Irad’s test results Thursday night: "X rays Clean" followed by a praying hands emoji and the words "be back in a couple weeks."

That was over a photo that included a smiling Irad with his left forearm and wrist wrapped. The Daily Racing Form reported that he needed five stitches in his arm and six in his head.

The 28-year-old winner of three consecutive Eclipse Awards as the top jockey in North America had to be replaced on numerous other mounts here Friday and Saturday.

Jose received some of those calls.

So there he was on Letruska on Saturday in the Ogden Phipps, a "Win and You’re in Breeders’ Cup Distaff" qualifier.

The winner? Letruska, by 2 3/4 lengths.

"I was able to put her on the lead and make the other horses chase me," Jose said.

More Win and In

Casa Creed won the Jaipur to claim a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. Silver State took the Metropolitan Mile for automatic entry in the BC Dirt Mile.

Acorn falls to …

Search Results, with Javier Castellano aboard instead of Irad, won the 91st running of the Acorn, by a half length over Obligatory.

"I’m sorry for Irad Ortiz that he got hurt," Castellano said, "but it gave me the opportunity to ride."

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