In a season that he has combined victories at the highest levels with consistent success, jockey Javier Castellano is closing in on the single-season record for North American earnings by a rider.
Through Dec. 9, Castellano had moved within $8,849 in purse earnings of breaking the North American single-season earnings record of $25,634,852 set last year by Ramon Dominguez.
Besides winning three grade I races this season with Princess of Sylmar, Castellano secured lucrative wins in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) with Ria Antonia and in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (gr. II) with Revolutionary. Castellano has won 61 stakes and 23 graded stakes this season.
Castellano has competed in 1,551 races this year and leads all riders with 344 victories through Dec. 9; 42 ahead of Russell Baze who is in second. Castellano's North American earnings total is more than $4 million ahead of Joel Rosario. When Rosario's Dubai earnings are included—he guided Animal Kingdom to victory in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I)—he ranks ahead of Dominguez at $27,094,576.
After suffering a brain injury in a fall in January at Aqueduct, Dominguez retired from racing.