Jockey Javier Castellano took his show on the road again this week winning three stakes races out of town and two at Belmont on his way to grabbing back to back Jockey of the Week honors. He was named the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for those efforts for the week ending July 5th. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by a member of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.
The current second leading rider at Belmont Park made his way down South this week and scored three stakes in succession on the card at Gulfstream Park on Sunday July 5th. That was extremely impressive considering he had already won a stakes race each day on the Friday and Saturday cards at Belmont Park.
In the eighth race Castellano captured the Miesque’s Approval S. and then won the Gr. 3 Carry Back Stakes aboard Grand Bili in Gulfstream Park’s ninth event on Sunday. He came right back with a another graded score in the tenth race with a win in the Gr. 2 Princess Rooney Stakes piloting home Merry Meadow for trainer Mark Hennig.
That victory marked the third straight stakes win on the day for Castellano. “It feels excellent to win three straight… It’s very exciting,” said Castellano.
Sent off as the 7-5 favorite in the field of ten, Merry Meadow got on even terms with Flutterby turning for home and the two raced as a pair before Merry Meadow edged away late to prevail by 1 3/4 lengths.
“It was a perfect trip,” Castellano said. “She was sharp, fresh, and a front-running horse. She wanted to race so I let her do what she wanted today.”
Castellano recorded the most stake wins with five and was second in total earnings with $906,179 for North American riders. He won on 27% of his mounts and was in the money 49% of the time for the week ending July 5th.
Follow Javier on Twitter @jjcjockey
JockeyTalk360.com spotlights the riders across North America and around the world who may be the bravest, toughest and most accomplished of all athletes. The Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of America’s Best Racing, the Daily Racing Form, Equibase, the Jockeys’ Guild, the Paulick Report, the Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and Turf Publicists of America.