This year’s Kentucky Derby saw ramifications that bleed into this weekend’s Preakness Stakes. There was the controversial finish: Country House beat Maximum Security after the latter was disqualified for bumping War of Will.
Maximum Security owner Gary West is sitting the horse out of spite, while Country House is out due to illness. That leaves new contenders such as Anothertwistafate (currently 10-to-1 odds) for an open avenue to victory.
The dark bay colt out of Kentucky has seized the El Camino Real Derby and finished second in a pair of Grade 3 races — the Sunland Park Derby and the Lexington Stakes — in 2019.
Jockey Jose Ortiz, trainer Blaine Wright and owner Peter Redekop are hoping that success carries into Pimlico Race Course. Let’s meet the horse’s team.
Anothertwistafate Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Ortiz, 25, hails from Puerto Rico and is one of the highest earning riders in the horse racing circuit. According to America’s Best Racing, he has raked in over $134 million since his first win in 2012. From his ABR bio:
Jose Ortiz is a Puerto Rican jockey who currently rides on the New York circuit with his older brother Irad Ortiz Jr. The pair made headlines on January 20, 2013 when they won the first seven races on Aqueduct’s card with Jose earning three of the wins.
Amongst his 1,777 career wins, the crowning achievement was the 2017 Belmont Stakes with Tapwrit. According to our own Jessica McBride, this was fitting, as his father Irad, Sr. got his horse racing start as a stable hand at Belmont.
“Irad the elder, who is seventy-one and now lives in Brooklyn, tried to make it as a jockey in the United States in the nineteen-eighties, riding in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Ohio. But he could never break into the N.Y.R.A. colony. Later, he worked at Belmont as a hot walker—one of the stable hands who cool the horses down after their workouts and races by leading them around in circles. He was instrumental in bringing the boys to New York.”
He switched from the Bob Baffert-trained Tacitus at the Kentucky Derby to Anothertwistafate, who is trained by Blaine Wright.
Anothertwistafate Trainer: Blaine Wright
Wright is a 44-year old native of the Bay Area out of Golden Gate Fields. According to John Cherwa of the Los Angeles Times, he “shuttles between stables at Golden Gate and Emerald Downs in Washington.”
Based at Golden Gate Fields, Wright earned his first stakes win in 2012 with Hudson Landing. His top horse, Alert Bay, won four graded stakes between 2014 and 2017 and earned over $1.3 million.
Wright told the L.A. Times that despite not earning enough qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby, he has his eyes set on Anothertwistafate taking the Preakness.
“I’ve been waiting to run this horse. I was disappointed to not be able to run him in the [Kentucky] Derby,” he said. “But at the same time, I do have trouble sleeping at night. I just wake up [thinking about the Preakness].”
The Seattle Times wrote on Friday that Wright could be the first “locally-based trainer to have a horse in a Triple Crown race since 1956.”
“A guy always hopes that one day he will get there,” said Wright, whose father, Richard, was a local trainer and jockey. “The whole family is excited. It’s not often where we come from that people get these opportunities.”
Anothertwistafate Owner: Peter Redekop
Redekop is a former real estate developer that focused on Thoroughbred racing in the 1960s. The Vancouver native has been inducted into the British Columbia Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
He has been making at least five-figure annual donations to pump up stakes purses at Hastings Racecourse for many years now. Apart from supporting the event he loves, the 84-year-old member of the BC Horse Racing Hall of Fame said his latest donation is simply a practical gesture to attract people to the sport. “We’ve got to get some people to notice us,” Redekop said of the donation that pushes the BC Derby purse to $250,000.
ABR states that “The best horses owned by Redekop include a trio of British Columbia Derby winners in Alert Bay, Title Contender and Second City as well as graded stakes winners Hollywood Hit, Comedero and Yougottawanna.”