01/06/2016 11:32AM

2015 Eclipse Awards: Javier Castellano


Javier Castellano trumped his high standards in 2015 when he broke his own single-season record for mount earnings in North America. The feat was achieved during a year in which Castellano also won 17 Grade 1 stakes aboard such horses as Honor Code, Liam’s Map, Stopchargingmaria, and Keen Ice.

For his accomplishments, Castellano, 38, is a finalist for the Eclipse Award for outstanding jockey. He has won the Eclipse twice before, in 2013 and 2014.

It was in 2013 that Castellano first broke the North American mount earnings record held by Ramon Dominguez, hitting a year-end total of $26,218,107. Castellano moved past that mark on Nov. 15, when Saythreehailmary’s finished second in the $125,000 New York Stallion Series Stakes at Aqueduct. He ended 2015 with a benchmark of $28,120,767.

Pushing the numbers to new heights were horses like Stopcharingmaria, with whom Castellano won the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, and Liam’s Map, the horse he guided to victory in both the Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and Woodward. Honor Code was another powerful piece of the puzzle with a memorable win in the Whitney.

“When he got to the eighth pole,” Castellano told Daily Racing Form, “he switched leads at the right place, the right time, and he finished unbelievable like he always does.” 

Castellano also guided Honor Code to victory in last year’s Metropolitan Handicap.

But the rider’s success was hardly confined to some of the most elite horses in training. Castellano won four races on the Claiming Crown program in December, among his winners Royal Posse in the featured $200,000 Jewel.

Castellano also led all riders in wins in North America in 2015 with 344.