Brothers ready for rare Kentucky double

Fri May 2, 2014 5:02pm EDT
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(Reuters) - There are six first-time jockeys riding in Saturday's Kentucky Derby but two share a special bond rarely seen in the starting gates at Churchill Downs.

For the first time in 30 years, and just the fourth time since the Derby was first held in 1875, two brothers will ride against each other in the Run for the Roses.

Irad Ortiz, 21, will be on board Uncle Sigh in barrier four when the horses are loaded into the gates. Three spots to his right will be his brother Jose, a year younger, in the irons of Samraat.

"I'm very excited," said Irad, a sentiment echoed by his brother. "The Derby has been my dream," said Jose. "And now it's coming true."

Jose has ridden Samraat in each of his six career starts, winning five times and finishing runner-up once. The horse was rated a 15-1 chance in early betting.

Samraat's trainer Rick Violette said he was thrilled for the two brothers to be riding together in the Derby.

"It's a terrific accomplishment," said Violette.

"It's probably very, very limited in any sport where two brothers have reached the top, it's not usual.

"It's a wonderful thing that two nice kids with enormous potential (have achieved this), and they're only going to get better."   Continued...