Javier Castellano

Javier Castellano’s accomplishments are simply staggering.  

A sampling: Castellano is one of only two jockeys to win four consecutive Eclipse Awards; he set the single-year record for purse earnings; he has won 12 Breeders’ Cup races and a record six editions of the Travers Stakes; he has surpassed 5,300 career wins and ranks second all time in earnings with more than $360 million.

Javier Castellano (NYRA)
Inducted

2017

Born

Oct. 23, 1977, Maracaibo, Venezuela

Career

1997-

Wins

5,388

Earnings

$360,595,307

Racing Record

18.21

Win %

Biography

Javier Castellano’s accomplishments are simply staggering.  

A sampling: Castellano is one of only two jockeys to win four consecutive Eclipse Awards; he set the single-year record for purse earnings; he has won 12 Breeders’ Cup races and a record six editions of the Travers Stakes; he has surpassed 5,300 career wins and ranks second all time in earnings with more than $360 million.

And that’s just a small part of Castellano’s remarkable story and run of dominance in American racing during his career. Castellano his risen to heights few have ever achieved in the saddle — and he has done it while remaining humble and being one of the sport’s best ambassadors.  

Castellano, who was born on Oct. 23, 1977, in Maracaibo, Venezuela, had a family pedigree that suggested becoming a jockey would be a viable career path. Both his father and uncle were jockeys and his younger brother, Abel, also became a professional rider. After starting his career in Venezuela, Castellano moved to Florida and rode his first North American winner, Phone Man, on July 31, 1997, at Calder. He won his first graded stake the following year and in 2001 earned his first Grade 1s, riding Exogenous to wins in the Beldame Stakes and Gazelle Handicap.

In 2003, Castellano secured the mount on Ghostzapper. He piloted the future Hall of Famer to six graded wins, including the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic in record time. The success with Ghostzapper put Castellano on the national map. In 2006, he won the Preakness and his first Travers with Bernardini. Castellano also won the Travers in 2010 (Afleet Express), 2011 (Stay Thirsty), 2014 (V.E. Day), 2015 (Keen Ice),and 2018 (Catholic Boy). The 2015 Travers victory with Keen Ice proved to be the lone blemish for Triple Crown winner American Pharoah that year. In the spring of 2017, Castellano added his second Preakness victory (Cloud Computing) and won his first Santa Anita Handicap with Shaman Ghost, a son of Ghostzapper. 

Castellano topped all North American riders in earnings in his Eclipse Award-winning years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) and led the national standings in wins in 2013 and 2015. His $28.1 million in earnings in 2015 set a record. He has also been one of the most successful riders at the Breeders’ Cup. His 12 victroies include the 2004 Classic victory with Ghostzapper.

Castellano has thrived at a variety of tracks throughout his career. He has won 11 riding titles on the New York Racing Association circuit (six at Belmont, three at Aqueduct, and two at Saratoga), five at Gulfstream, and two at Keeneland. His five titles at Gulfstream were consecutuive and his 132 wins during the 2013-14 winter meet there set a record.

Achievements

Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey — 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

North America's leading rider in earnigs — 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
North America's leading rider in wins — 2013, 2015

Triple Crown Highlights

Won the 2006 Preakness Stakes — Bernardini
Won the 2017 Preakness Stakes — Cloud Computing 

Breeders' Cup Highlights

Won the 2004 Classic — Ghostzapper
Won the 2012 Filly and Mare Turf — Zagora
Won the 2013 Juvenile Fillies — Ria Antonia
Won the 2014 Filly and Mare Turf — Dayatthespa
Won the 2015 Dirt Mile — Liam's Map
Won the 2015 Distaff — Stopchargingmaria
Won the 2016 Juvenile Fillies Turf — New Money Honey
Won the 2017 Juvenile Fillies Turf — Rushing Fall
Won the 2018 Juvenile Turf Sprint — Bulletin
Won the 2018 Dirt Mile — City of Light
Won the 2019 Juvenile Fillies — British Idiom 
Won the 2019 Turf Sprint — Belvoir Bay 

Other Highlights

Won the Travers Stakes — 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018 

Media

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