Jockey Javier Castellano won four stakes on Claiming Crown day at Gulfstream Park Saturday on his way to winning the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week award for November 30 – December 6th. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.
Castellano capped a big Claiming Crown day by guiding Royal Posse to a decisive victory in the featured 1 1/8-mile Claiming Crown Jewel Stakes giving the rider wins in four of the event’s nine races Saturday, Dec. 5 at Gulfstream Park.
Castellano also picked up wins on Runs With Bulls in the Iron Horse, Stallwalkin’ Dude in the Rapid Transit, and Moonshine Promise in the Glass Slipper. Loooch Racing Stables owns Runs With Bulls and Moonshine Promise, both trained by Peter Walder.
In the featured Jewel, Javier had Royal Posse rated in fifth early before taking command in the turn and never being threatened in securing a 2 1/2-length victory on the sloppy track. Trained by Rudy Rodriguez, Royal Posse completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.77, easily holding off stablemate Mr Palmer.
“I’m very lucky, very blessed. I feel at home here. Gulfstream has been very good to me,” Castellano said. “The fans, the people, the trainers, the owners always support my career. This is where I started riding horses in the States, in Florida. The people have been very good to me. They give me fast horses to ride and I feel very blessed.”
Castellano had a mount in all nine stakes races carded at Gulfstream Park, who hosted the 17th edition of the Claiming Crown for the fifth time. Javier never finished worse than fifth in any race, winning four while placing in one event and adding a pair of third place finishes.
For the week Javier had seven winners from his twenty mounts with three second placings and three third place finishes. Castellano, who led all riders this week in both stakes earnings and total earnings, is the nation’s current leading rider in money earned. This week he tallied $483,986 in total earnings to help increase his lead in that category.