08/20/2004 12:00AM

Castellano excels at new home


Former Maryland-based jockey Abel Castellano Jr. didn't move his tack to Delaware Park until June 7. Despite missing the first month of the season, he has ridden well enough to rank eighth in the jockey standings with a record of 36-42-25 from 210 mounts.

Castellano, 20, the younger brother of New York jockey Javier Castellano, moved to Delaware hoping to increase his exposure to the racing industry.

"I decided to come here because I think a lot of people pay attention to the racing in Delaware," Castellano said. "There are a lot of good trainers here, and with a little luck you can make a name for yourself. I feel great about the progress I have made as a rider since moving to Delaware. I feel more confident and strong, which I think has shown with my riding."

Castellano was the fifth-leading rider in Maryland last year, winning 118 races, including a meet-high 64 during the fall at Laurel.