Jockey Joe Castro recorded his 2,000th career victory Friday at Golden Gate Fields when he guided Aerial Hawk to a come-from-behind victory in the third race.
"It feels good, but coming the day after someone wins his 9,000th, it seems a little dubious," said a smiling Castro in reference to Russell Baze's milestone victory on Thursday at Golden Gate Fields. "But, really, it is a good feeling because it's a nice accomplishment.
"When you first start riding, you're just happy to be riding and you don't think about winning that many races," continued Castro. "It feels good to do it here. I've ridden at a lot of tracks but I've spent most of my career here, so it's nice to do it at home."
Castro, 41, was born in Los Angeles and scored his first victory at Hollywood Park in 1983. He has ridden his share of stakes-winners, including G. Malleah, who set a world record under Castro when he ran six furlongs in 1:06.60 at Turf Paradise on April 8, 1995.
"It's still a lot of fun," said Castro of his occupation. "Sometimes the daily grind gets to you, but when you're out there and everything comes together and you win, there's no feeling like it in the world."
Castro rallied Aerial Hawk from seventh in a field of eight and they won the 1 1/16-mile turf race for maiden 3-year-old fillies by a half-length over 6-to-5 favorite Hot Fudge Sundae. Aerial Hawk, who paid $17.40 to win, is trained by Ed Moger Jr. and owned by Curt and Lila Lanning of Los Altos.