Javier Castellano — whose 20 graded stakes and 33 stakes overall on grass lead North America — is the recipient of JockeyTalk360.com‘s 2017 Turf Jockey of the Year Award, presented by the performance-fencing company Duralock.
Castellano, who was voted into racing’s Hall of Fame this year, captured five Grade 1 races in New York, Kentucky and California, including Rushing Fall in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and New Money Honey in the $1 million Belmont Oaks. He also won Belmont’s Longines Just a Game on Antonoe, Santa Anita’s Frank E. Kilroe Mile on Bal a Bali and Keeneland’s Maker’s 46 Mile aboard American Patriot.
His $11,253,905 in purse earnings on the grass lead North America, while his 124 victories overall through Wednesday rank No. 3. More than half his 213 victories and 62 stakes wins and almost half of his $24,304,781 in purses this season have come on the turf.
Castellano, 40, was selected by the panel of racing experts who vote on Jockey of the Week honors for JockeyTalk360.com, the website dedicated to promoting and celebrating the sport of horse racing by showcasing riders from across the nation and around the world. JockeyTalk360.com editor C.J. Johnsen will present the Turf Jockey of the Year Award to Castellano at the Dec. 12 awards luncheon of the annual Jockeys’ Guild Assembly sponsored by Betfair US at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand.
“This was an extraordinarily tough category with an array of jockeys having strong credentials,” Johnsen said. “Ultimately, no jockey guided more different horses to victory in the sport’s biggest turf races than Javier, who won Grade 1 races with five horses and graded stakes with 16 horses all over the country.”
Castellano grew up in a racing family in Venezuela, moving to the United States in 1997, the year after he started riding. He has won the Eclipse Award as North America’s outstanding jockey the past four years. His $294 million in purses rank No. 5 all time and are right on the heels of No. 4 Jerry Bailey and No. 3 Pat Day.
“Duralock is proud to present the Turf Jockey of the Year Award to Javier Castellano,” said Duralock’s Joe Carr. “Duralock is the gold standard for racing and equestrian safety fencing, and Javier set a high bar this year for riding races on turf.”
This is the second year for JockeyTalk360’s Turf Jockey Award, which was won last year by Florent Geroux. The JockeyTalk360 awards are in addition to those handed out by the Jockeys’ Guild.
British-based Duralock is the world leader in manufacturing maintenance-free PVCu equestrian and sports fencing. Founded in 1991, the Duralock
safety fencing and gate systems are used in Europe, America, Australia, the Middle East and Asia. The company has expanded into commercial fencing for factories, shopping centers and schools, as well as a low-maintenance alternative to conventional fencing for home owners. For more information, go to duralock.com, @DuralockUKLtd on Twitter and Facebook.com/Duralockukltd.