From timesunion.com
Coady PhotographyIf things had been different, Javier Castellano would not have won his fourth Travers Stakes last Saturday.

He would have been playing in the major leagues.

Growing up in Venezuela, Castellano’s first sporting love was baseball. His idol as a kid was Venezuelan Omar Vizquel, who played for six teams from 1989-2012.

“I was pretty good,” Castellano said Monday morning between working horses on the Oklahoma Training Track.

Some of his friends have had pretty fair major-league careers. He is tight with Detroit Tigers All-Star Miguel Cabrera and former major-leaguer Moises Alou.

When Castellano didn’t grow– he stands 5-foot-1–there was going to have to be another sport. The way things have turned out, Castellano isn’t too upset that he didn’t become a major league all-star.

When he and V.E. Day won the Travers, Castellano became just the fifth jockey to win the Midsummer Derby four times. He said he did some work on the computer and found out he was now in the same company as Eddie Arcaro, Braulio Baeza, Pat Day and Jimmy McLaughlin.

“It’s an honor,” said Castellano, who has now won three of the past five (Afleet Express in 2010 and Stay Thirsty in 2011 are the other two) runnings of the Travers. “It’s important to win Grade I races anywhere, but especially at Saratoga. Everyone watches at Saratoga.”