Castellano To Receive Woolf Award Sunday

March 15, 2023

Javier Castellano (Benoit Photo)

Javier Castellano To Be Presented With Prestigious George Woolf Memorial Award This Sunday At Santa Anita
Four-Time Eclipse Award Winning Rider To Be Feted Between Races

Santa Anita Press Release

ARCADIA, Calif.— Javier Castellano, a four-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey and a member of racing’s Hall of Fame, will be accompanied by friends, family members and a number of his fellow riders this Sunday at Santa Anita, as he accepts the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award Trophy in a Runhappy Winner’s Circle ceremony that will be emceed by FanDuel TV’s Kurt Hoover.

Castellano, 45, who immigrated from his native Venezuela in 1997, was one of five Woolf Award finalists that included jockeys Daniel Centeno, Terry Houghton, Edwin Maldonado and Willie Martinez.

Presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950, Castellano thus becomes the 74th winner of one of the most coveted awards in racing and a trophy that can only be won once. Determined by a vote of jockeys nationwide and named for the late jockey who was regarded as one of the greatest big money riders of his era, the Woolf Award trophy is a replica of the life-sized stature of Woolf that adorns Santa Anita’s Paddock Gardens area.

Currently based in Florida, Castellano will be accompanied by his wife Abby, with whom he has three children, Kayla, Sienna and Brady. Castellano is also the son-in-law of Terry Meycocks, National Director of the Jockeys’ Guild.

Second all-time only to fellow Hall of Famer John Velazquez, Castellano has career earnings of more than $377 million and through Dec. 31, 2022, he had recorded 5,595 career wins.

The son of a jockey, Castellano’s first winner came aboard Phone Man on July 31, 1997, at Calder Racecourse. Castellano first came to national prominence on Oct. 30, 2004, when he rode the Frank Stronach homebred and Bobby Frankel-trained Ghostzapper to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Lone Star Park.

The timing of Sunday’s Woolf Award ceremony, which will include a video that honors all past winners dating back to Gordon Glisson in 1950 through last year’s winner, Joe Bravo, will be announced following Sunday’s entries, which will be taken on Thursday.

Hear Javier talk about winning the George Woolf award:

@fatbaldguyracin hits a good % of winners but I have never saw anyone on the roll @jonathanstettin is on. Making very tough game look easy!

Justin Golden @justin181174 View testimonials