Jockey Javier Castellano took his show on the road to Prairie Meadows in Iowa, swept both graded stakes offered on Saturday night and was named the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for his efforts. 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.
For the week of June 22 – 28, Castellano was North America’s leading rider in earnings with $541,081 based mostly on his wins aboard Bent On Bourbon in the $250,000 Iowa Derby and Golden Lad in the $300,00 Cornhusker Handicap. For the year, the native of Venezuela leads all jockeys with 172 wins and mount earnings of $11,360,862.
A perfect two for two on Saturday at Prairie Meadows, Castellano started with a three length victory aboard Bent On Bourbon who pulled of a mild upset, paying $10.80 to win. In the Cornhusker, Castellano was aboard the betting favorite, Golden Lad, a horse he had ridden to numerous stakes victories. The win did not come easy, as Golden Lad had to run down Ecleto Red, the 31-1 pacesetter, for a 1 ½ length victory. For the week, the 37-year-old jockey scored five wins in 25 starts and was in the money 56%.
Castellano, a two-time Eclipse Award winner, is currently ranked second in the jockey standings at Belmont. He is coming off a dominating performance at Gulfstream Park, where he scored 114 wins, 30 more than his nearest competitor.
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.