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.