Jockey Makes History


Jockey Javier Castellano rode his way into the history books at Saratoga Race Course yesterday, riding five straight winners in races 2 through 6.

Castellano, 32, began the streak with Yawkey Way ($7.60 to win), a first-time starter trained by Chad Brown, then proceeded to win with Cody Samora ($3.80), Desert Key ($8.80) and Fiddler's Chaparito ($5.10).

Castellano bookended his run with another Chad Brown firster, Stand Proud, who came with a furious rally through the stretch to pay $27.

When Castellano returned to the winner's circle aboard Stand Proud, the crowd of 18,713 gave him a standing ovation -- a rare tribute at the Old Spa.

"I'm very thankful, blessed and appreciative of all the trainers giving me support," said Castellano, who previously rode five winners [but not in a row] on closing day at Saratoga in 2004 and again in 2005.

"Saratoga is a tough meet, with a lot of pressure. I give a lot of credit to my agent, Matt Muzikar. He put me on the right horses. It's one of those days when everything breaks the right way," Castellano said.

Castellano's best ride came in the fourth race aboard Desert Key, a once-promising colt who hadn't won a race since June 2008. Castellano tucked Desert Key in behind the pace set by Mesa Sunrise, then swung out to split horses at the top of the stretch.

Sandwiched between Mesa Sunrise along the rail and Be Bullish to his outside, Desert Key, under gutsy handling by Castellano, bulled his way through to take command in the closing yards.

"He's been riding huge," said Muzikar, who took over Castellano's book last summer. "But the bottom line is, it you don't have the horses, you're not going to win. It's all timing, every part has to fall into place, and those [trainers] all put us on live horses."

Muzikar said other jockeys he's handled have won five races in a day, "but never five in a row. What makes it special is that it happened at Saratoga."

Post handicapper John DaSilva calculated that a $2 parlay on Castellano's five winners would have returned $2,178.90.

by Ed Fontaine

On the New York worktab

On Sunday, Florida Derby (G1) winner and Kentucky Derby (G1) second ICE BOX (Pulpit) logged a half in :48 4/5 over Saratoga's fast Oklahoma dirt training track with jockey Jose Lezcano aboard. The Nick Zito runner, who was placed eighth in the Belmont S. (G1) most recently, worked in company with stablemate and Grade 2 hero COOL COAL MAN (Mineshaft), who was clocked in :49 3/5.

"I got Ice Box faster -- :47.64 -- but that's fine," said Zito, who is readying the sophomore for a tilt at next Sunday's Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park. "I was very happy with him. Don't forget he worked with Cool Coal Man, and he's no slouch. Jose did a good job with him and he came home very well."

Another Zito trainee, Dwyer S. (G2) winner and Belmont runner-up FLY DOWN (Mineshaft), will put in his final serious work on Monday morning for an expected start in Saturday's Jim Dandy S. (G2). Zito said the colt would likely work a half-mile on the main track at 8:40 a.m. (EDT), but that he might change plans and work him over the Oklahoma track at 9:30 instead.

Ice Box and Fly Down are both potential contenders for the Travers S. (G1) on August 28.

"We have a big week next week," Zito said. "Let's hope everything goes well."

Grade 3 vixen DECELERATOR (Dehere), unplaced in the Eight Belles S. (G3) when last seen, worked a half-mile in :48 4/5.

Recent Iowa Sprint H. scorer MAJESTICPERFECTION (Harlan's Holiday), whose only loss from five career starts came as a third in his debut, breezed five furlongs in a bullet 1:00 3/5.

Dual stakes winner KERA'S KITTEN (Kitten's Joy), sixth in an allowance/optional claimer last out, posted three panels in :36 1/5.

Undefeated sophomore STORMY'S MAJESTY (Stormy Atlantic), who scored an 8 3/4-length allowance/optional claiming victory last out, logged a mile in 1:42.

Canadian champion EYE OF THE LEOPARD (A.P. Indy), sixth in the Kelly's Landing S. in his only start so far this season, turned five-eighths in 1:02 1/5 on the fast main dirt.

Arlington Classic runner-up ALFARABI (Yes It's True), placed fifth in the Oliver S. last out, breezed four furlongs in :50.

Grade 2 winner HOLD ME BACK (Giant's Causeway), most recently hero of the Dominion Day S. (Can-G3), breezed five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 on Belmont Park's fast dirt training track.

Dual Grade 3 winner AILALEA (Pulpit), fifth in the Mother Goose S. (G1) last out, breezed four furlongs in :50 1/5.

Grade 3 victor AL KHALI (Medaglia d'Oro), winner against allowance/optional claiming rivals most recently, covered a half-mile in a bullet :48 2/5.

Multiple stakes queen MARAM (Sahm), runner-up by a nose in the Eatontown H. (G3) two back, logged four panels in :50 3/5.

Brazilian champion JEUNE-TURC (Brz) (Know Heights [Ire]), unplaced in the United Nations (G1) while making his U.S. bow last out, traveled a half-mile in :51 4/5.

Multiple Grade 3-placed stakes victress QUIET MEADOW (El Prado [Ire]), second in the Gallorette H. (G3) two back, worked four furlongs in :49.



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