(Jockey Jose Ortiz and the wonderful filly Elate after winning at Saratoga / Photo courtesy of NYRA)

(Jockey Jose Ortiz will now get the ride on Improbable in the Arkansas Derby / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

I just love Twitter.

Just got back in the office after a lunch run and several key errands for my most wonderful wife, and saw that Jay Privman, of “The Daily Racing Form,” announced that Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert had selected one of the world’s best riders — Jose Ortiz — to ride Improbable in the upcoming Arkansas Derby.

It was not long after that hit the news wire that my great Twitter friend, Jeffrey Byrnes, posed one of the most intriguing questions of the newest Triple Crown season. Byrnes sent out the query on Twitter:

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but this might be the first time Jose Ortiz has ridden for Bob Baffert. Picks up a quality mount in Improbable.”

It got me to thinking. And, working.

I immediately texted my great friend Ed DeRosa, the Marketing Director at Brisnet.com, and asked him the question. And, immediately following that, I sent a Direct Message to my great friend Jimmy Riccio, the greatest rider’s agent in the free world and the man who has the pleasure of working with and for Jose Ortiz.

Both DeRosa and Riccio answered quickly.

This will be the first time that the talented rider — one of the best in the game today — will team up with Baffert — one of the best in the game forever.

Riccio sent via Direct Message:

“…this will be our first mount for him (Baffert).”

DeRosa texted:

“Never,” when asked if Jose Ortiz had ever ridden for Baffert before.

And, now?

Ortiz and Baffert will team up with one of the best 3-year-olds in the land. Improbable, in his first start of 2019, ran second to Long Range Toddy in a division the G2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 16. Improbable was ridden that day by Drayden Van Dyke.

Today, Privman made the first public announcement of the rider change, crediting WinStar Farm’s Elliott Walden as his source.

What a tremendous move by all parties. Ortiz, without a question, is one talented rider. Riccio, his agent, is the best in the business. Baffert is undoubtedly the best of trainers these days, and will go down in history as one of the game’s best — ever. And, WinStar is as good a stallion and racing operation as there is in the entire world.

Here’s hoping this marriage works, and lasts a long time.