08/24/2016 3:27PM

Castellano, agent parting ways after Saratoga

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Jockey Javier Castellano

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Three-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Javier Castellano and his agent, Matt Muzikar, will split at the end of the Saratoga meet, both parties confirmed Wednesday.

Castellano cited a breakdown in communication as the reason for the two ending their seven-year working relationship.

“Any relationship needs good communication, and we didn’t have it – that’s part of the problem,” Castellano said. “It’s not easy, it’s hard. We’ve been very successful the last seven years, three Eclipse Awards, but at some point, you need to move forward.  I feel like the communication wasn’t right, and I look forward now to make a change.”

Castellano said he has not yet retained a new agent for the Belmont fall meet, which begins Sept. 9.

Part of the communication problem between Castellano and Muzikar developed over Saturday’s Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers Stakes. Castellano is riding Destin for Todd Pletcher, but he had also told trainer Chad Brown that he would ride Gift Box.

Pletcher and Brown have been Castellano’s two most significant clients in recent years.

“Any time a jockey is giving out two calls in a Grade 1 without telling his agent, there’s obviously a communication problem,” Muzikar said.

In the end, Castellano, a five-time winner of the Travers, wound up on Destin, the horse he rode to a sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby and a second-place finish in the Belmont Stakes. Castellano guided Gift Box to a pair of wins and a second-place finish in the Curlin Stakes from five rides on that ridgling.

According to Muzikar, Castellano’s backing out of his call to Brown on Gift Box has cost Castellano 20 calls he had with Brown for races at this meet.

Castellano, 38, has won three consecutive Eclipse Awards (2013-15) and last year set a North American record for purse earnings with $28,120,767.

Through Tuesday, Castellano is this year’s leading earner among riders with $14,790,634. His 199 wins rank him fourth.

Castellano entered Wednesday as the third-leading rider at the Saratoga meet with 34 wins, five behind the leader, Irad Ortiz Jr.

Dee Potter 9 months ago
I think Gift Box is the unforgotten horse in this race....just saying.
John Agnello 9 months ago
I really could see this coming with Castellano losing out to the Ortiz brothers the last couple of NY meets. And about to lose the number 1 spot in earnings to Irad. I think Castellano needs to humble himself a little and realize how he got to the top as its a long fall off that ladder.
Paul Mitchell 9 months ago
A clone would be helpful.
Julie Krone 9 months ago
funny story!!
Richard Kennedy 9 months ago
Hi Julie: 
You didn't know me, but I remember seeing you in the 70s' at Keystone Racetrack, in Roy Henry's barn. I was a groom at the time. From those humble beginnings, CONGRATS on a GREAT career!! - Racetrack Rik
Richard Stover 9 months ago
One third? Most jockeys would LOVE to pay an extra 8 percent to an agent who guides them to an all-time single season earnings record.
When Castellano approached Muzikar in April of 2009(when Muzikar and Coa parted ways) he was coming off a disastrous Gulfstream meet where he had lost almost all of his business with top barns.  Muzikar agreed to take him despite offers from other jockeys, several of whom were doing much better than Castellano was at the time.
Castellano obviously accepted Muzikar's terms, and if 1/3rd was what he agreed to 7 years ago before his career went in a STRAIGHT LINE UP, he should be glad he has been paying 33% of more money than he ever would have earned.
http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=People&searchType=J&eID=57935
Castellano's earnings DOUBLED just three years after hiring Muzikar,
Castellano has earned almost as much money in the last 4 2/3 years as he did in his entire career before that!
There is no way Castellano gets his foot in the door at Pletcher's barn without Muzikar, none.
Muzikar and Brown are very tight, and Castellano foolishly fired Muzikar without telling Brown first.  Brown has Muzikar's back on this, and Castellano won't be riding for Brown anytime soon, if ever.  Brown was becoming increasingly disenchanted with Castellano and would rather ride the Ortiz's anyway according to sources, he was continuing to ride Castellano only because of his relationship with Muzikar.
Castellano is very lucky Pletcher rides him at all after the disgraceful and negligent ride he gave in the Belmont.  His overconfidence in early to mid stretch certainly cost him more than the nose he lost by.  You're not supposed to take chances with overconfidence in races of the magnitude of the Belmont Stakes.
Don't be surprised if Castellano crawls back to Muzikar, especially once he realizes there is no way possible he can get the quality of mounts that Muzikar provided him with.
Melanie Thompson 9 months ago
Well said. This is why im probably one of the few that have never been a fan of castellano
ryan 9 months ago
Believe it or not you are not the only one!   33 pct is still excessive
MontrealKen 9 months ago
Very interesting. How do you know all this Mr. Stover?
realgooddogtoo 9 months ago
Castellano is wrong, he shouldn't giving call to trainers, that is the agent job. He's riding for the top two trainers in the Country ! , and he may loose one of them  because of his mistake , instead he would end up riding for someone like moquette ojete.
Mark Klein 9 months ago
How exactly do you loose something?
realgooddogtoo 9 months ago
By not be able to hold on to what you have now .
Richard Kennedy 9 months ago
Good INTEL from THOMAS, only an "Insider," would have that kind of information.  There's a reason "Jockey Agents" exist.  Working the barns, hustling mounts, coordinating horses for the Jock to work...  That said, Castellano is doing so well, perhaps, he could be his own agent.

4 hours ago
Thomas
Maybe it's the one third that Matt gets while other agents live on 25, that finally got under Javier's skin?

Richard Stover 9 months ago
One third? Most jockeys would LOVE to pay an extra 8 percent to an agent who guides them to an all-time single season earnings record.
When Castellano approached Muzikar in April of 2009(when Muzikar and Coa parted ways) he was coming off a disastrous Gulfstream meet where he had lost almost all of his business with top barns.  Muzikar agreed to take him despite offers from other jockeys, several of whom were doing much better than Castellano was at the time.
Castellano obviously accepted Muzikar's terms, and if 1/3rd was what he agreed to 7 years ago before his career went in a STRAIGHT LINE UP, he should be glad he has been paying 33% of more money than he ever would have earned.
Castellano's earnings DOUBLED just three years after hiring Muzikar,
Castellano has earned almost as much money in the last 4 2/3 years as he did in his entire career before that!
There is no way Castellano gets his foot in the door at Pletcher's barn without Muzikar, none.
Muzikar and Brown are very tight, and Castellano foolishly fired Muzikar without telling Brown first.  Brown has Muzikar's back on this, and Castellano won't be riding for Brown anytime soon, if ever.  
Castellano is very lucky Pletcher rides him at all after the disgraceful and negligent ride he gave in the Belmont.  His overconfidence in early to mid stretch certainly cost him more than the nose he lost by.  You're not supposed to take chances with overconfidence in races of the magnitude of the Belmont Stakes.
Don't be surprised if Castellano crawls back to Muzikar, especially once he realizes there is no way possible he can get the quality of mounts that Muzikar provided him with.
Greg Hopper 9 months ago
Neither horse looks very live to me. Sad to ruin relationships over these 2 also rans...
Pavalos75 9 months ago
He needs to get Russell's Baze former agent!
Jamie Murphy 9 months ago
Cordero smells the blood in the water
Thomas 9 months ago
Maybe it's the one third that Matt gets while other agents live on 25, that finally got under Javier's skin?
Dale Tillotson 9 months ago
Is this the agent that was married to Julie Krone or at least a significant other?
Dale Tillotson 9 months ago
As well as being a former security guard?
lord_at_war 9 months ago
I thought Julie Krone was married to DRFHovdey...
Dale Tillotson 9 months ago
she is now