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Javier Castellano Wins 3,000th Race Aboard Virtuously

February 24, 2012 · By Erin Birkenhauer · Share

Jockey Javier Castellano won the 3,000th race of his career on Friday, booting Virtuously under the Gulfstream Park finish line while wearing the black and gold.

“Congrats” are in order to the Venezuelan reinsman for piloting our 4-year-old daughter by the sire of an identical name to victory. Castellano perfectly allowed Virtuously to settle eighth in a field of 12 as favorite Scootles blazed to an extremely fast lead in the mile turf race (sixth on the card), and although Virtuously remained several lengths behind as the field turned for home, the 34-year-old native of Venezuela got her into an impressive wide drive to catch the tiring pacesetter by three quarters of a length with a thrilling late rally.


“It feels great. It was time. I stayed patient and rode the same way I always ride,” Castellano said. “I’ve been very blessed to have all the support from all the owners and all the trainers and my agent, Matt Muzikar. People think it’s only myself, but it’s not. I have a lot of help.”

Castellano, who began his career in his native country in 1996 before venturing to the U.S., currently leads the jockey standings at Gulfstream with 71 wins and is a regular in West Point silks. We wish him the best this weekend as he rides Todd Pletcher trainee El Padrino in Saturday’s Risen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds.

Friday’s race was a second career win for Virtuously, who is trained by Dale Romans.

Dale said, “First of all congratulations to Javier. He gave this filly a perfect ride. I thought she’d be a bit closer, but Javier was patient with her and sensed there was a hot pace up front. I’ve always liked this filly, so it’s nice to see her put things together and get the job done. I think she’ll win some races for us this year.”

Congratulations to Virtuously’s Partners!