Castillo Bags Career Victory 2,000

Edited release from NYRA
Jockey Heberto Castillo Jr. won Thursday afternoon's third race at Belmont Park with longshot Letthefreedomroar for the 2000th victory of his career.

A 3-year-old daughter of Roar, trained by former jockey Mike Miceli, Letthefreedomroar returned $36 for each $2 win ticket.

"It has been a tough road," said the 33-year-old Panamanian who grew up in Louisiana. "There are a lot of ups and downs in the business. I had some injuries earlier in my career, or this might have come sooner. But, I'm still young and I now I can shoot for 3,000."

Castillo wasted no time in getting to work on his next milestone. He came back later Thursday to win the fifth race aboard Midnight Charlie for trainer Leah Gyarmati, also an ex-jockey. Midnight Charlie returned $41.50 to win.

Meanwhile, Castillo's brother-in-law, jockey Jose Santos, capped off Thursday's card by winning the late double with Primtimevalentine ($24.20) in the eighth and Alleged Whisper in the ninth ($23.20). Santos, who won the Kentucky Derby aboard Funny Cide, will head to Pimlico in Baltimore, Md. where he will try to win Saturday's Preakness