Spectators at Presque Isle Downs were in for a treat Tuesday afternoon with an appearance from a well-known jockey.
Spectators witnessed award-winning jockey Jose Ortiz compete in the $100,000 stakes at Presque Isle Downs as he won first place on his horse Sir Lancelot. Eight races took place Tuesday afternoon including the Fitzstick and Junior Memorial stake for two year old juvenile male horses.
“They’ve already graduated from their made in special eight victories. Now they’re moving on to the stakes,” said Patrick Morell, simulcast host, Presque Isle Downs.
Along with two year old horses racing, spectators had the chance to see award winning jockey jose ortiz take to the track and compete in a stake. The jockey said his preparation involves watching videos to become familiar with the horse.
“I just watch replays, especially on horses like today I haven’t riden before, so I watch the replays and I talk to a trainer, and they can tell me more about the horse,” said Jose Ortiz, jockey.
Another preparation tactic for Ortiz is to become familiar with the track he is racing on. He said he has competed in Erie before so he is confident before he is off to the races.
“Very different riding synthetic than riding dirt or turf, which I ride most of the race, but I’ve been here a lot and I know this track already, so yeah, you kind of ride it differently,” Ortiz added.
Coming from a 10-year veteran on the racetrack, Ortiz has advice for anybody who may be interested in becoming a jockey.
“It’s a very hard job. It requires a lot of responsibility and a lot of time, but if you want to do it, go for it and try to be the best,” said Ortiz.
After Tuesday, the simulcast host said Presque Isle Downs will have more surpises to come.
“Well we have a couple things lined up for sure coming up soon. Hopefully we can get going here,” said Morell.
Morell added that they are already making preparations for next year as well on what he calls one of the biggest days for Presque Isle Downs.