HALLANDALE BEACH, FL- Javier Castellano broke his own record for winners at Gulfstream Park when he rode Bartiromo to victory in Wednesday's ninth race. Castellano, 36, had taken the last two riding titles at Gulfstream with 100 wins, and established his mark of 112 during the 2011-12 racing season. A native of Venezuela, Castellano was coming off a career year in 2013, when he won his first Eclipse Award as the nation's leading jockey and surpassed the earnings record previously held by rider Ramon Dominguez. His mounts earned $26,214,007 last year.
"It's an amazing achievement for me to win 100 races the last three winters at Gulfstream Park," Castellano said. "It's an incredible feeling, a landmark achievement for me, and I'm very blessed."
Castellano got off to a quick start this afternoon by sweeping the first three races on the card with Farfullera ($5.80), Wild Swava ($7.20) and Tale of Peace ($5.20). After sitting out the next three races, the champion jockey resumed winning with Barzini ($6.00). Castellano was forced to settle for second with 1-2 chalk Honor Code in the featured eighth race, but summoned his typically forceful finish to win the photo in the ninth with Bartiromo ($4.80).
"It was too close," Castellano said immediately after his record-setting tally. "In those types of races you have to ride really hard. It was so tight and I don't know who won. It was a close call. But it's a great feeling when you come back and you see your number first on the board, and you think, 'Wow, I got it, I did it.'"
Castellano has already posted six graded stakes victories this year at Gulfstream, including the Hutcheson Stakes (G3) on Wildcat Red and both the Davona Dale Stakes (G2) and Forward Gal Stakes (G2) with Onlyforyou. He won nine graded stakes during the 2011-12 season. Prior to Castellano, the record for single-season wins for a jockey at Gulfstream was the 97 jointly held by Julio Pezua (1987), Wigberto Ramos (!991) and Jerry Bailey (1996).
"To do it here - this is one of the best meets, one of the ones you really want to win," Castellano reflected. "All of the riders come from different places - New York, Kentucky, Woodbine - they all hook up here. It's so competitive. I'm so thankful for all of the support from the owners and the trainers and especially my agent, Matt Muzikar. I give him all of the credit, because it's not easy. There's a lot of scheduling and a lot of compromising. But he did a great job and he put me on the top."
Rainbow 6 Grows To $2.9 Million
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 wager remained elusive to bettors once more as the carryover jackpot for the popular bet swelled to $2,915,725.07 following today's action. Going into the program, the Rainbow 6 carryover was over $2.79 million, and an additional $522,742 was bet into the jackpot today. The winning sequence of 1-5-1-1-5-10 returned $1,451,94.
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 was last hit on January 10 for $30,670.26. The Rainbow 6 has undergone two changes for the current Champions Meet. The base wager was raised from 10 cents to 20 cents in order to accommodate bettors in Canada who had previously been unable to wager at the former minimum, thus were ineligible to win the jackpot. Also, on days when there is no jackpot winner, 70 percent of the daily betting pool is returned to those ticketholders with the most winners, while 30 percent is added to the carryover pool. The split had previously been 60-40.
The record payoff for the 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot is $3,591,245.44, which was won by a New Jersey bettor on February 22, 2013.
Rainbow 6 Carryover: $2,915,725.07
Super High 5 Carryover: $11,872.37