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Ortiz Jr. Fined $500 for Riding Crop Violation in Derby

Manny Franco and Jose Ortiz were also fined for violations in other stakes races.

Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard Mo Donegal after winning the 2021 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack

Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard Mo Donegal after winning the 2021 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack

Coglianese Photos/Joe Labozzetta

Stewards at Churchill Downs fined Irad Ortiz Jr. $500 for exceeding the state's allowable overhand strikes when riding to a fifth-place finish on Mo Donegal in the May 7 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1). His fine, issued May 13, is the only Derby riding crop infraction published on the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission website, but one of a group over Derby week.

After consultation with The Jockeys' Guild, the KHRC passed new riding crop rules last summer that prohibit jockeys from using the crop more than six times in an overhand fashion during a race, and no more than twice in succession without giving the horse a chance to respond.

Stewards began enforcing the restrictions in Kentucky over the winter at Turfway Park. Jockeys are given the option of a $500 fine or serving a three-day suspension with a first offense.

Other riders sanctioned by stewards for riding crop violations during Derby week included Manny Franco, Reylu Gutierrez, Brian Hernandez Jr., Colby Hernandez, Mitchell Murrill, and Jose Ortiz. Additional riders have been fined in subsequent racing or were sanctioned during the spring meet at Keeneland.

Jose Ortiz was cited twice for violations May 7, including his winning ride aboard Obligatory in the Derby City Distaff Stakes Presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery (G1).

Franco also had two violations, including his ride on Turnerloose where he finished seventh in the May 6 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1).

All of the Derby week riding crop fines were for $500, irrespective of a race's purse.