From a Maryland Jockey Club release
Abel Castellano, who has won nearly 700 races at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course since 2003, returned to the jockey colony this afternoon after spending the last six months riding in New York. The 30-year-old finished second aboard Diski Dancer in today’s third race.
“Maryland will always be home to me,” Castellano said. “Most of my big career moments have been here. People here treat me good. Things got off to a slow start in New York but were picking up. However, the big name riders are coming back for the spring and it was becoming harder and harder to leave my family who stayed here. The kids are in school. I am glad to be back and am hopeful to get opportunities to ride for the same trainers I have ridden for all these years.”
CASTELLANO’S TOP MARYLAND MOMENTS
- topped the rider standings at the major Maryland tracks in 2012, winning the Pimlico spring and Laurel Park fall riding titles
- arrived in Maryland in the spring of 2003 and tied for the fifth spot in the state standings, winning Laurel fall meet title
- ranked fourth in local standings in 2004, while leading all riders with 11 stakes victories, including the Pimlico Distaff (G3) on Friel’s For Real
- established a career-best with five winners at Laurel Park on October 18, 2004
- earned 1,000th career winner on December 19, 2007 when Johnny Z. reached the wire first at Laurel Park.
- tied a career-high with five wins at Laurel on April 5, 2008 including the Primonetta Stakes aboard Hungarian Boatbaby
- Apprentice rider Eli Rosa will return Saturday after missing nearly a year. Rosa broke his left arm and dislocated his left wrist in a spill at Charles Town March 23, 2013. The 24-year-old, who finished 10th in the 2013 Laurel Park winter standings, has been galloping horses for trainers John Rigattieri, Linda Gaudet and Lacey Gaudet since mid-January…
- For the first time since it was instituted last fall, Maryland’s void-claim came into play last week. The rule voids claims on any horse that dies during a race or is euthanized or dies immediately afterwards while still on the track. Giant Indian, a five year-old son of Indian Charlie trained by Chris Englehart, broke down late in the seventh race on February 26 and had to be euthanized, Maryland Racing Commission sources said. There were three claims in on the horse…
- Today’s racing was canceled after the third race at Laurel Park. ““The changes from cold to warm caused a nightmare on the race track,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “We have had a tremendous amount of moisture between snow, ice and rain. My crew is great but sometimes Mother Nature wins and Mother Nature won today.”
(Featured photo of Abel Castellano by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.)