2017 Turf Jockey of the Year – Javier Castellano
Javier Castellano — whose 20 graded stakes and 33 stakes overall on grass lead North America — is the recipient of JockeyTalk360.com‘s 2017 Turf Jockey of the Year Award, presented by the performance-fencing company Duralock.
Castellano, who was voted into racing’s Hall of Fame this year, captured five Grade 1 races in New York, Kentucky and California, including Rushing Fall in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and New Money Honey in the $1 million Belmont Oaks. He also won Belmont’s Longines Just a Game on Antonoe, Santa Anita’s Frank E. Kilroe Mile on Bal a Bali and Keeneland’s Maker’s 46 Mile aboard American Patriot.
Castellano grew up in a racing family in Venezuela, moving to the United States in 1997, the year after he started riding. He has won the Eclipse Award as North America’s outstanding jockey the past four years. His $294 million in purses rank No. 5 all time and are right on the heels of No. 4 Jerry Bailey and No. 3 Pat Day.
2016 Turf Jockey of the Year – Florent Geroux
Florent Geroux won last year’s Breakthrough Jockey award (formerly known as Most Improved) and has only moved up from there in a 2016 where he will win more than 200 races and $17 million in purses. While adept on any surface, Geroux assembled a strong record on turf, where his 29 stakes and 20 graded stakes lead North America in 2016. Geroux’s 469 turf mounts had won 98 races while earning $8.5 million through Dec. 7, including Grade I triumphs on Victory to Victory, World Approval, Beach Patrol, Al’s Gal, Sea Calisi and Catch a Glimpse. He won five grass stakes on Da Big Hoss while shipping to big races around the country and Canada from his Kentucky-Saratoga-New Orleans circuit. Geroux’s turf prowess was on full display on the Arlington Million card, when he won three Grade I races, and during Kentucky Downs’ all-grass meet, when he repeated as riding champion and won five of the boutique meet’s 12 stakes.
“It’s truly an honor for Florent to receive the inaugural best Turf Jockey award from JockeyTalk360,” said Doug Bredar, Geroux’s agent. “Certainly 2016 has been a very special year for us.”