Castellano First Recipient of Prime Jockey Award
Jockey Javier Castellano, Gulfstream's defending champion and the meet's current leading rider, was presented Friday with the first Prime Jockey Award by III Forks Prime Steakhouse and Cantina Laredo Modern Mexican.
The Prime Jockey Award is presented twice a month to a jockey who achieves high standards both on and off the track. Each recipient will receive a $100 gift certificate to III Forks Prime Steakhouse or Cantina Laredo Modern Mexican. Both popular restaurants are located at The Village at Gulfstream Park. The presentation was made after Friday's eighth race by Arthur 'AJ' Mindermann, Chef, Cantina Laredo Modern Mexican.
"On behalf of Cantina Laredo Modern Mexican, we're so pleased to honor one of Gulfstream's Prime Jockeys in Javier Castellano," said Mindermann.
Castellano got off to a fast start at Gulfstream's 2012-13 meet by winning the first race of the season on Dec. 1. His stakes victories this season have been aboard Premier Steps in the $100,000 Sweetest Chant and Regalo Mia in the $150,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf. Castellano was also aboard one of the country's most promising 3-year-olds last weekend in New York when he rode Revolutionary to victory in the $200,000 Withers Stakes.
On Thursday afternoon, Castellano won four races on the program. He entered Friday's program with 54 victories, six more than his nearest competitor. He rides Bourbon Courage in Saturday's $500,000 Donn Handicap, Unbridled Command in the $300,000 Kitten's Joy Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, Channel Lady in the $150,000 Suwannee River Handicap and Swagger Jack in the $150,000 Sprint Championship.
Castellano enjoyed a record-shattering 2011-12 season at Gulfstream when he rode 112 winners to easily eclipse the previous record of 97 shared by Julio Pezua (1987), Wigberto Ramos (1991) and Jerry Bailey (1996). His 2011-12 season also included winning his 3,000th race Feb. 24.