Castellano Extends Lead in Gulfstream Standings with Five Winners
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Fresh off riding the 3000th winner of his career, Javier Castellano visited the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle five times on Saturday.
The 34-year-old native of Maracaibo, Venezuela, who reached the 3000-win milestone on Feb. 24, boosted his meet-leading total to 81 wins, 21 more than his closest rival, John Velazquez.
“I’m so happy the way my career is going. I’ve been very lucky to ride good horses for good trainers who put me in this spot,” Castellano said. “I had a lot of good chances today, but sometimes it can go the other way. I was very blessed.”
After finishing second aboard Tastefully Sweet in the first, Castellano rode the winners of the next three races: Closerwalk ($3) in the second, Heavy Breathing ($3.80) in the third and Went the Day Well ($4) in the fourth. He got back to the winner’s circle with Concorde’s Flight ($9) in the sixth and Kitty Wine ($12.60) in the eighth,
Castellano began his riding career in Venezuela in 1996 before venturing to the U.S. the following year. He rode his first winner, Phone Man, at Calder shortly upon his arrival.
Retired Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey set the record for most winners on a card at Gulfstream on March 12, 1995, when he made seven trips to the winner’s circle and missed making an eighth visit when his mount, Suave Prospect, lost the Florida Derby (G1) by a nose to Thunder Gulch.