Castellano goes 6-for-7 at Aqueduct
By NYRA Press Office | 11/09/2013 05:41 PM ET
Jockey Javier Castellano closed out a superlative day at Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday by piloting North Star Boy to win the ninth and final race and register his first six-win day on the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) circuit.
Castellano, the leading rider in New York in 2013 with 217 victories, won the first five races in which he had a mount, all aboard favorites. He took both ends of the early daily double aboard Coup de Grace ($3) and Jeter ($6.50), then won the fourth race with Becky's Kitten ($6.60), the fifth on One Red Cat ($2.90) and race 6, the Summer Secretary overnight stakes, with Watsdachances ($4.20).
Sixth in race 7 and without a mount in race 8 after morning-line favorite Anjaz was scratched from the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap, Castellano made it 6-for-7 aboard North Star Boy ($15), his only mount who did not go off as the betting favorite.
"When I came here this morning I was kind of disappointed to see my filly scratched from the stakes," said Castellano, a 33-year-old native of Venezuela. "All my horses today were live but I thought she was my best chance. I said, 'Let me ride it race by race,' and everything went right."
It was the first six-win day for a jockey in New York since the now-retired Ramon Dominguez went 6-for-7 on September 2, 2012 at Saratoga Race Course.
Castellano, the nation's leading rider in terms of both victories (313) and purses earned ($23.3 million), had twice ridden five winners this year in New York, on July 13 at Belmont Park and on September 2 at Saratoga.
"I'm very blessed; I've been having a wonderful year, winning the Breeders' Cup [Juvenile Fillies with Ria Antonia] and being the leading jockey at Belmont Park in the spring and fall and at Saratoga," said Castellano. "I am so thankful to all the trainers who put so much confidence in me, especially Chad Brown and Todd Pletcher. I hope things can continue and that God gives me the strength to be strong."