By Frank Angst for The Blood-Horse

Jockey Javier Castellano finished 2016 as the leading rider by earnings for a fourth straight year.

Castellano reached the winner’s circle 300 times from 1,418 mounts and ended the year with earnings of $26,827,966. Runner-up for the second consecutive year was Irad Ortiz Jr. who had 313 wins from 1,504 mounts and earnings of $23,456,741.

Top stakes wins for Castellano, who has earned the Eclipse Award each year from 2013-2015 and is among the favorites for 2016, included grade 1 scores aboard New Money Honey in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, Cathryn Sophia in the Longines Kentucky Oaks, Flintshire in the Longines Sword Dancer and Woodford Reserve Manhattan stakes, Cavorting in the Personal Ensign Stakes, Shaman Ghost in the Woodward Stakes, Connect in the Cigar Mile Handicap, Sweet Loretta in the Spinaway Stakes, and Annals of Time in the Hollywood Derby.

In terms of wins, Jose Ortiz finished first with 351 followed by Antonio Gallardo, 332; Irad Ortiz Jr., 313; Castellano, 300; and Juan C. Diaz, 289. The 351 wins by Jose Ortiz is the most in a single season by a North American-based rider since 2013 when Castellano registered 362.

Top stakes wins for Jose Ortiz included grade I scores with Oscar Performance in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, Ectot in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes, Practical Joke in the Hopeful Stakes, and Off the Tracks in the Mother Goose Stakes.

Rounding out the list of top 10 jockeys by North American earnings in 2016 after Castellano and Irad Ortiz were Jose Ortiz, $22,925,822 (351 wins/1,563 starts); John Velazquez, $18,597,526 (196/1,029); Florent Geroux, $17,684,133 (217/1,119); Joel Rosario, $16,584,389 (156/979); Julien Leparoux, $13,902,269 (166/866); Mike Smith, $13,352,350 (55/335); Luis Saez, $13,339,836 (213/1,460); and Manuel Franco, $12,477,271 (192/1,480).