Jose Ortiz celebrates after winning Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Good Magic

Jose Ortiz celebrates after winning Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Good Magic

Chad B. Harmon

Ortiz Expected to Quickly Bounce Back From Knee Surgery

Doctors are confident Jose Ortiz will be able to resume riding Jan. 1

Jose Ortiz, a top candidate for the 2017 Eclipse Award as outstanding jockey in North America, should return to competition sooner than expected after undergoing minor knee surgery Dec. 5 at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Jim Riccio Jr., Ortiz's agent, said doctors are confident his client will be able to resume riding Jan. 1 at Gulfstream Park. That would give Ortiz ample time to shake off any rust before the $16-million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) Jan. 27 at Gulfstream.

"It's much quicker than we thought and there was less cleanup than we thought," said Riccio. He noted that a minimal amount of scar tissue was removed. The initial projection was that Ortiz would be sidelined for six weeks.

Ortiz injured his left knee during in a spill Sept. 20 at Belmont Park, initially sidelining him for one week.

As of Dec. 5, Ortiz led all riders with $27,181,860 in purse earnings. His top wins this season include the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets (G1) on Tapwrit, his first Triple Crown win; and in the  Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) with Good Magic.