Javier Castellano, four-time Eclipse Award-winning equestrian and Hall of Fame member, will be traveling with friends, family members and some of his team riders this Sunday at Santa Anita Park, as he accepts the prestigious George Woolf Jockey Award Memorial Trophy during the Runhappy Winner’s Circle ceremony which will be hosted by FanDuel TV’s Kurt Hoover.
Castellano, 45, who immigrated from his native Venezuela in 1997, was one of five finalists for the Woolf Prize, including equestrians Daniel Centeno, Terry Houghton, Edwin Maldonado and Willie Martinez.
Awarded annually by Santa Anita since 1950, Castellano thus becomes the 74th winner of one of the most coveted prizes in the race and a trophy that can only be won once. Determined by a vote of jockeys across the country and named after the late jockey, who was considered one of the highest-earning racers of his time, the Grand Prix trophy. The Woolf bonus is a life-sized replica of the Woolf stature that adorns the Paddock Gardens of the Santa Anita area.
Now based in Florida, Castellano will be accompanied by his wife Abby, with whom he has three children, Kayla, Sienna and Brady. Castellano is also the son-in-law of Terry Meycocks, Country Manager of the Jockeys’ Guild.
Second of all time just behind compatriot John Velazquez, Castellano has a career income of more than $377 million and as of December 31, 2022, he has scored 5,595 career wins.
The son of a jockey, Castellano’s first winner boarded the Phone Man on July 31, 1997, at Calder Racecourse. Castellano first became nationally known on October 30, 2004, when he rode a purebred Frank Stronach and a Ghostzapper trained by Bobby Frankel to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Lone Star Park.
The timing of Sunday’s Woolf Awards, including a video honoring all past winners from Gordon Glisson in 1950 to last year’s winner, Joe Bravo, will be announced after the events. Sunday submissions will be taken on Thursdays.
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