Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano returned to action Wednesday at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., after sitting out for three months while rehabbing from surgery on his right leg.
The five-time Championship Meet titlist finished fourth aboard Sexy Dream in Race 9, a mile optional starter allowance for 3-year-old fillies that was taken off the turf. While the result may not have been what he would have likes, Castellano was more than happy to get back to riding horses in the afternoon.
“I’m every excited, very motivated,” Castellano said. “That was my first mount. We all are looking to win first time. It didn’t work out, but we’re looking at the big picture. We’re looking to get fit, riding a lot of horses. I’m looking to work hard. Hopefully, I’ll get a lot of support from the owners and trainers.”
A winner of 5,328 races and more than $354 million in purse earnings, Castellano had arthroscopic surgery to clean up some debris in his right leg, near the hip, Nov. 16 in New York. He went through physical therapy and returned to Florida earlier this month to start getting on horses.
Castellano is named on two horses Thursday – Todd Pletcher-trained Deemed Essential in Race 7, a maiden special weight on turf for 3-year-old fillies, and Graham Motion-trained All Come True in Race 10, a mile optional claiming allowance for older fillies and mares on turf.
Castellano won a record five consecutive Championship Meet riding titles at Gulfstream from 2011-12 through 2015-16. During that time, he was voted the Eclipse Award as champion jockey four times, from 2013-16.
Thursday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $400,000
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $400,000 Thursday at Gulfstream Park.
The popular multi-race wager went unsolved for a second racing day following Saturday’s mandatory payout. Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $4,130 Wednesday.
The jackpot pool is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.
WHO’S HOT: Fresh off a natural grand slam Sunday, defending two-time Championship Meet titlist Irad Ortiz Jr. rode another five winners Wednesday, scoring aboard Cat Lady ($4.60) in Race 1, Jacohare ($13.80) in Race 2, American Matters ($7.60) in Race 5, Dem a Wonder ($4.60) in Race 6, and Subsidiary ($10.60) in Race 8.
Ortiz sits atop the jockey standings with 93 wins.
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