Castellano’s Saratoga Blog – Week 3

Each week, jockey Javier Castellano, who won the last three Eclipse Awards for being North America’s most outstanding jockey, is sharing a Saratoga Blog. This is the third of seven installments, with the questions coming from turf writer Bob Fortus. Bob Fortus: Flintshire, who won the Bowling Green last Saturday, had to be you highlight for last week, wouldn’t you say? Javier Castellano: “Yeah. Tremendous. I never rode horses like that. So powerful. A strong kick. And I think he’s one of the best horses in the world. He hooked up with the best horses in Dubai, Hong Kong,...

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Castellano’s Saratoga Blog – Week 2

Each week, jockey Javier Castellano, who won the last three Eclipse Awards for being North America’s most outstanding jockey, is sharing a Saratoga Blog.  This is the second of seven installments, with the questions coming from turf writer Bob Fortus. Bob Fortus: How would you describe your meet so far? Are you happy with the way things are going? Javier Castellano: “It’s early, but so far so good. Opening day, a couple seconds. The horses ran pretty good. And the second day, Saturday, I had a great day. I won four races. Nice and smooth, straight-forward. And the next...

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Castellano’s Saratoga Blog – Opening Week

For the second consecutive season at the Spa, jockey Javier Castellano graciously has agreed to be your eyes and ears. Each week, Castellano, who won the last three Eclipse Awards for being North America’s most outstanding jockey, will be sharing his Saratoga Blog.  This is the first of seven installments. What does Saratoga mean to you? “Saratoga Race Course is very special to me. Saratoga, in my opinion, is one of the most prestigious race meetings in all the world. The quality of racing is second to none. Quality horsemen and riders from throughout the country compete on a daily basis. The...

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Gary West’s Top 20 Derby Prospects (FINAL UPDATE)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Many years ago, in a Derby-trail conversation at Gulfstream Park, trainer Nick Zito, who was slowly making his way to Kentucky with Go For Gin, stressed the importance of “hitting it just right.” A jaw-dropping performance in March and a superlative effort in April, he explained, matter little if, on the first Saturday in May, you strike out. Hitting the moment squarely, with a peak effort — that’s what wins the Kentucky Derby. And that’s why this final week, with the moment rapidly approaching, can be so important. The 34 qualifying races have been run, a...

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