News December  5, 2023

Gilbert Ortiz Joins Elite 3000 Wins Club Saturday at Evangeline Downs

Gilbert Ortiz scored his 3,000th career victory on Saturday night at Evangeline Downs.

© Coady Photography

OPELOUSAS, LA—NOVEMBER 27, 2015—Jockey Gilbert Ortiz made American Quarter Horse history on Friday night at Evangeline Downs, as he became just the seventh rider to reach 3,000 lifetime victories.

The milestone win came in the third of nine trials for the $100,000-added Evangeline Downs Futurity aboard Baby Separatista. Ortiz sent the filly to the front shortly after the start of the race and didn’t look back, winning by a neck in a time of 20.384 seconds, equaling a speed index of 79.

Baby Separatista was bred in Texas by the owner Raul Penaloza Canada and is trained by Salvador Flores. She is by Separatist Baby out of the First To Shine mare, Shiney Warrior.

Baby Separatista paid $18.40 to win, $5.60 to place and $6.20 to show for her victory. She had previously won a trial for the Grade 3 Harrah’s Entertainment Futurity at Louisiana Downs in March. She finished ninth in the Futurity itself and this was her first start since those two efforts.

Ortiz joins six other legendary names in American Quarter Horse racing in the exclusive 3,000 win club. They are G.R. Carter, Jr., Alvin “Bubba” Brossette, Danny Cardoza, Kenneth Hart, Eddie Garcia and John Creager.

Gilbert Ortiz hits landmark with win aboard 8-1 shot Baby Separatista. © Coady Photography
Ortiz has many great memories of those 3,000 wins in his career. He has ridden champion American Quarter Horses like Kool Kue Baby, Tailor Fit and Vals Fortune. Ortiz knows, however, that he is not alone in his success saying, “I never thought I could get this far. I’ve ridden for some great trainers, owners and agents in my career. It’s working with great people that counts most.”

Ortiz has a favorite memory over the old Evangeline Downs racetrack that makes reaching this milestone at the current Evangeline Downs a special experience. In 2000, Ortiz traveled to Ruidoso, New Mexico to ride in the All-American Futurity aboard Joe Kirk Fulton’s Fashionisanattitude. He finished second aboard the filly and following that terrific effort, Ortiz immediately jetted back to Louisiana to ride Bob and Jerry Gaston’s Hez Not Too Shabby in the LQHBA Breeders Futurity at the old Evangeline Downs racetrack. He guided the Steve Van Bebber trainee to victory in the race, which was run back then on Labor Day Weekend.

Live racing will resume at Evangeline Downs with a 10-race program on Saturday night, including the $1,000,000 LQHBA Breeders Futurity and the $267,171 LQHBA Breeders Derby. Post time on Saturday night is 5:35 pm Central time.

For more information on the American Quarter Horse season at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website at

Courtesy Ses