Javier Castellano

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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BC Announces Guests for Cocktails and Conversation Broadcast

Trainer Simon Callaghan and Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano are the special guests for this week's installment of the Breeders' Cup's Cocktails & Conversation. The broadcast is a recurring virtual happy hour series designed to rally the industry into raising funds for communities that have been profoundly impacted by COVID-19. It airs Thursday, Aug. 6 at 6 p.m. ET via Breeders' Cup's Twitter,  Facebook and YouTube. The episode will be hosted by Nick Luck and Britney Eurton of NBC Sports and 21 Club mixologist and creator of Breeders' Cup's...

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Op/Ed: Churchill Must Make Tough Call and Limit Derby to Local Jockeys

With Saratoga, Del Mar and a number of other tracks effectively eliminating jockeys from coming and going due to fears they will spread the coronavirus, attention now turns to Churchill Downs and the GI Kentucky Derby. Churchill Downs President Kevin Flannery and his team are no doubt mulling whether or not they will put similar restrictions in place, effectively allowing only Kentucky-based riders to compete during the five days of racing. It's not exactly an easy call, but their number one priority has to be safety. And that means following...

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Rushing Fall Shatters Course Record in Jenny Wiley Repeat

Already a Grade I winner at ages two, three and four, 'TDN Rising Star' Rushing Fall (More Than Ready) made it four straight seasons at the highest level with a record-setting victory in the GI Coolmore Jenny Wiley S. at Keeneland Saturday, which she also won last season. Away in good order, the 4-5 chalk was hot on pacesetting Jolie Olimpica (Brz)'s (Drosselmeyer) tail in second with Juliet Foxtrot (GB) (Dansili {GB}) to her inside through upbeat fractions of :23.42 and :46.94. Ranging up to look Jolie Olimpica in the...

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Speech Loud and Clear in Ashland

Speech (Mr Speaker) became her young sire's first Grade I winner and earned enough points to land her a spot in the Sept. 4 GI Kentucky Oaks with a decisive score in the GI Central Bank Ashland S. at Keeneland Saturday afternoon. Speedy GII Las Virgenes S. romper Venetian Harbor (Munnings) shot out to the early lead, loping through an opening quarter in :24.04 with Speech stalking from second off the fence. Envoutante (Uncle Mo) slipped up the fence inside of Speech as the half went up in :47.14, but...

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Monomoy Girl Breezes Towards Ruffian

Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group, and Bethlehem Stables' Eclipse Award winner Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) breezed a half-mile in company in an easy :49.30 over the Belmont main track Saturday morning as she completed her preparations for the July 11 GII Ruffian S. at Big Sandy. Partnered with Javier Castellano, the 5-year-old worked in the company of her multiple stakes-winning stablemate A Bit of Both (Paynter) and was timed in splits of :12.30 and :24.40 before galloping out five-eighths of a mile in 1:02.10. "Today it was a very...

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Castellano Healthy, Hopes to Return to the Saddle First Week of May

Edited Release, courtesy Gulfstream Park Calling it "the biggest challenge of my life," popular Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano has overcome being diagnosed with the coronavirus. Castellano, 42, spent 14 days in quarantine at the South Florida home of his 64-year-old mother, where Gulfstream's five-time Championship Meet leading rider had been since testing positive upon his arrival from New York to ride over GI Curlin Florida Derby weekend in late March. As part of strict protocols put into place by Gulfstream management, all riders who came in from out...

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