Javier Castellano

Simplification Keeps the Ball Rolling for Not This Time

Simplification (Not This Time) became the 17th stakes winner and third in the last six days for his in-form sire with a convincing victory in this first step on the road to the GI Florida Derby and--perhaps--beyond. An even fourth on his 5 1/2-furlong debut on the synthetic track Oct. 1, the bay overwhelmed a group of Florida-bred maidens by 16 3/4 lengths Oct. 23, good for a 92 Beyer. He couldn't put them back to back, faltering to be third at long odds-on Nov. 13, but had his fair...

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Velazquez, Smith Re-Elected to Jockeys' Guild

Hall of Fame riders John Velazquez and Mike Smith were re-elected as co-chairmen at the Jockeys' Guild's annual meeting, which was held virtually Dec. 7. The riders in attendance also re-elected Javier Castellano and Julien Leparoux, along with newly elected Quarter Horse jockey James Flores, as vice-chairs; Joel Campbell as treasurer; and Rodney Prescott as secretary. In addition, Alex Birzer, Joe Bravo, and Drayden Van Dyke were re-elected to the board of directors. The members reviewed 2021 financials and the 2022 budget and had a variety of speakers including Senator...

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Upstart Filly Worst To First In Big A Bow

1st-Aqueduct, $80,000, Msw, 11-12, 2yo, f, 7f, 1:26.45, my, head. KATHLEEN O. (f, 2, Upstart--Quaver {SP}, by Blame) was the buzz horse in the Friday opener from Aqueduct, as she was bet down all the way into 13-4 from a morning line of 8-1, but jumped only fairly from the widest stall in a field of seven. Racing in a detached last while trying to find her footing in the off going, the dark bay was ridden patiently by Javier Castellano while still clearly last into the turn, but began...

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Essential Quality Guts It Out in the Blue Grass

Godolphin homebred Essential Quality (Tapit) gave his connections a few anxious moments in the stretch, but, in the end, he proved why he is a champion with a gutsy score in Keeneland's GII Toyota Blue Grass S. Saturday evening. Hustling up to contest the early pace, the 1-2 favorite allowed Highly Motivated (Into Mischief) to take control, settling on his outside hip through a :23.83 first quarter and :48.21 half-mile. The top two continued to duke it out as three-quarters went in 1:12.08 with the rest of the field watching...

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Keeneland Maker's Mark Bottle Fundraiser to Benefit LexArts, Isaac Murphy Memorial Garden

This year, the annual release of a commemorative Maker's Mark Bourbon bottle in partnership with Keeneland will benefit LexArts, greater Lexington's premier cultural development, advocacy, and fundraising organization, to support its initiatives at the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden in Lexington. Murphy was a Hall of Fame jockey who remains the only rider to win the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and Clark H. in the same year (1884). The Art Garden is the first park in the U.S. to honor African American jockeys, who were the earliest Black professional athletes....

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Search Results Outslugs Miss Brazil In Busher

Search Results (Flatter) gave her sire a second 3-year-old stakes winner Saturday, outgaming pacesetting Miss Brazil (Palace Malice) in the final furlong to take Saturday's $250,000 Busher S. at Aqueduct and earning 50 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks in the process. Sent off an easy-in-the market 2-1 second favorite after touching 3-2 early on, Search Results was put into the race by Javier Castellano and took up pace-pressing duties from second as Miss Brazil led them along through controlled splits of :24.53 and :49.64. The duo raced...

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Radical Change, Status Quo, or Middle Ground for New York Whip Rules?

New York has lagged other racing states in addressing changes to whip use designed to be more humane to Thoroughbreds. But not being an early adopter of controversial new rules can sometimes be an advantage, because regulators are able to assess what is and isn't working in other jurisdictions before making potentially radical modifications to long-standing practices. That was the tone of discussion during the Oct. 19 teleconference meeting of the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC), which conducted what amounted to a 2 1/4-hour opinion-gathering dialogue on whether or...

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Galileo's Magic Attitude Rolls in Belmont Oaks

Magic Attitude (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) made her Stateside debut in style with a late-surging victory as the heavy favorite in the GI Belmont Oaks Saturday, the first Grade I event of the track's fall meet. Caboosing the quintet early, the even-money favorite--who was receiving Lasix for the first time--bided her time at the back as second-choice Antoinette (Hard Spun) clocked a half-mile in :49.99. Still last entering the far turn, the bay swung out three wide in the lane and unleashed a furious rally, powering clear late for a decisive...

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Digital Age Causes Upset in Turf Classic

When Klaravich Stables' Digital Age (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) made his one and only previous appearance beneath the Twin Spires on [real] Derby Day 2019, the 320,000gns purchase out of the 2017 Tattersalls October sale returned $19.20 to his happy backers in the GIII American Turf S. Let go at the exact same quote as the least-fancied of three Chad Brown entries for Saturday's GI Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic S., the 4-year-old settled last but one, was produced wide into the lane by Javier Castellano and rocketed home to...

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Jockeys Pledge Support to Injured Rider Vinnie Bednar

Jockeys Javier Castellano, Mike Smith, John Velazquez, Manuel Franco and Tyler Gaffalione have pledged a percentage of their earnings from the GI Kentucky Oaks and GI Kentucky Derby race cards to help rider 28-year-old rider Vinnie Bednar, who suffered a catastrophic fall at Los Alamitos Racetrack Aug. 22. Bednar is currently experiencing lower-limb paralysis following initial surgery at USC Medical Center in Los Angeles. He remains hospitalized while awaiting transfer to the Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, a world-renowned, premier center for spinal and brain injury. The accident occurred in...

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Caracaro Continues Kentucky Derby Preparations

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - With a mix of optimism and respect, trainer Gustavo Delgado and his son and assistant, Gustavo Delgado Jr., have gone about their primary task of the summer: preparing Caracaro (Uncle Mo) of the GI Kentucky Derby. The Delgados are based in South Florida at Gulfstream Park West, but brought Caracaro to Saratoga Race Course in July with the goal of earning enough qualifying points to make the 20-horse Derby. Following second-place finishes in the GIII Peter Pan S. July 16 and the Aug. 8 GI Travers...

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Delgados Derby Dreaming With Late-Blooming Caracaro

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - This summer, the road to Churchill Downs runs through upstate New York and has brought Caracaro (Uncle Mo) from South Florida for the historic GI Runhappy Travers S. Saturday. Though the Travers is often the late-August goal for the owners and trainers of talented 3-year-olds, the COVID-19 pandemic has produced a serious rewrite of the schedule for elite races and briefly changed its status. Long ago dubbed the "Midsummer Derby," the 2020 Travers at Saratoga Race Course is a stepping stone to the GI Kentucky Derby...

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