February 11, 2015
Javeier Castellano named Jockey of the Week
Javier Castellano won 11 races, including three graded stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, and notched his 4,000th career victory on Sunday to be named the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week. The title goes to the week’s outstanding jockey in the opinion of a panel of industry experts and the public consensus.
Castellano, posted 11 wins, 5 seconds and 2 thirds in 35 starts for earnings of $794,950 during the week. Javier excelled in Saturday’s stakes races by winning three of his four stakes mounts and on Sunday, achieved the milestone of 4,000 wins.
In the Grade III Suwannee River Stakes on Saturday, he rode Sandiva (IRE) to victory for trainer Todd Pletcher and Al Shaqab Racing. Two races later, Castellano again teamed up with Pletcher and Al Shaqab Racing in the Grade I Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap aboard Mshawish. After being bottled up early, Castellano was able to find running room in the stretch and split foes to earn Mshawish the victory by a nose.
Castellano described the ride as “very tight from the beginning all the way to the end. I never had a place to go. I had to stay patient and go from there. At some point in the race I got a little bit frustrated turning for home because I never saw any hole. Finally by the eighth pole when I saw the hole he went through a tiny hole and he made a big effort today. I give all the credit to the horse because they way he did it today, it was amazing. Not too many horses can do it the way he did it today.” Read more . . .
People’s Choice: The Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week is selected by a blue ribbon panel of industry experts. Now, each Monday, any racing fan can cast a vote that will be aggregated for a voice on the selection panel. Visit JockeyTalk360.com on Monday for details.
Corey Nakatani (Santa Anita) and Victor Jadhir Bailon (Turfway Park) were the leading riders by winning percentage of all riders who won 3 or more races during the week ending February 8. Nakatani won 4 out of 8 starts and Bailon won 3 out of 6 for a 50% success rate. Alfredo Juarez Jr. (Sunland Park) was next at 46.67% for winning 7 out of 15 starts. See the week’s top jockeys by winning percentage here.
Jockey of the Week Javier Castellano (Gulfstream Park) led the week’s standings by both earnings and number of wins. He won 11 out of 35 races to collect $794,950. Irad Ortiz Jr. (Aqueduct) earned $412,420, while Victor Espinoza (Santa Anita) earned $406,140. See the week’s top jockeys by earnings here.
Antonio Gallardo (Tampa Bay) ranked second for the week by number of wins with 10 from 29 starts. Irad Ortiz Jr. (Aqueduct) was next with 9 wins from 23 starts. See the week’s top jockeys by wins here.
Omar Reyes is leading the Quarter Horse standings for both wins and earnings in 2015 with $434,446 from 121 starts and 36 wins to date. Rodrigo Vallejo is next for earnings with $407,008 and Shanley Jackson ranks third with $346,108.
Alex Baldillez Jr., Rodrigo Vellejo and Raul Ramirez Jr. have all won 17 races to share the second slot in the AQHA win standings. Keep up with all the AQHA leaders here . . .
2015 Commemorative Racing Calendar
Photos by Coady Photography
Autographed by Hall of Fame Jockey John Velazquez
The cover of this beautiful 2015 calendar depicts two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan and his Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez. This limited number of calendars are each autographed by Johnny V.
Now only $20 plus $5 shipping & handling
Proceeds benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund
Q. This weekend’s Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn dates back to 1968. In this week’s two-part quiz, pick the horse that won the Southwest Stakes on the way to a Kentucky Derby victory, and name its rider.
A) Mine That Bird
B) Sea Hero
C) Smarty Jones
D) Lil E. Tee
If you know the answer, you might win an autographed John Velazquez trading card in JockeyTalk360 Quiz #19.
Thanks to Robin Rocchino of Pennsylvania whose name was drawn from correct answers in Quiz #18.
McCoy earned his 200th winner of the season on Mr Mole Feb. 7 at Newbury before making the surprise announcement.
“It’s going to be the last time I ride 200 winners,” McCoy said. “I am going to be retiring at the end of the season. I want to go out while I still enjoy riding and am still relatively at the top. I want to go out as champion jockey and it will be my 20th year if I can win the jockeys’ championship.” Read more . . .
Pat Day Mile on Churchill calendar
Churchill Downs Racetrack will honor two riding greats with stakes races – one renamed and another that is new – during its 2015 Spring Meet, which spans 38 days from Saturday, April 25 through Saturday, June 27.
To no surprise, a sextet of Grade I races highlights the nine-week stand but none are more prominent than the 141st runnings of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks. The two stalwarts anchor a 25-race stakes lineup that emphasizes big-event days cumulatively worth $8.05 million – a $375,000 increase or 5% jump from 2014. Fourteen of the stakes will be staged on Derby Week when the international spotlight is shining bright on Louisville. Read more . . .
Tampa riders taken to hospital
A four-horse spill in the sixth race Feb. 6 at Tampa Bay Downs caused the death of one horse and resulted in four jockeys being taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa for observation.
The chain-reaction accident in the $8,000 claiming race began when 5-year-old mare La Ranchera, who was advancing along the rail under jockey Alice Cartwright, broke down at the quarter pole. Juliebrowneyes tumbled over La Ranchera and threw her jockey, Huber Villa-Gomez, to the track.
The 4-year-old filly Carol Ann and leading Tampa Bay jockey Antonio Gallardo were unable to avoid Juliebrowneyes, although Carol Ann managed to jog away after losing Gallardo. But a fourth horse, Bright Promise sideswiped La Ranchera as the latter was struggling to regain her footing. Bright Promise’s jockey, Janelle Campbell, was tossed off in the process. Read more . . .
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 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, Turf Publicists of America and racing fans.