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Abel Castellano Returns To Jockey Colony
LAUREL, MD. 03-05-14---Abel Castellano, who has won nearly 700 races at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course since 2003, returned to the jockey colony this afternoon after spending the last six months riding in New York. The 30-year-old finished second aboard Diski Dancer in today’s third race.
“Maryland will always be home to me,” Castellano said. “Most of my big career moments have been here. People here treat me good. Things got off to a slow start in New York but were picking up. However, the big name riders are coming back for the spring and it was becoming harder and harder to leave my family who stayed here. The kids are in school. I am glad to be back and am hopeful to get opportunities to ride for the same trainers I have ridden for all these years.”
CASTELLANO’S TOP MARYLAND MOMENTS
• topped the rider standings at the major Maryland tracks in 2012, winning the Pimlico spring and Laurel Park
fall riding titles
• arrived in Maryland in the spring of 2003 andtied for the fifth spot in the state standings, winning Laurel fall meet
• ranked fourth in local standings in 2004, while leading all riders with 11 stakes victories, including the Pimlico
Distaff (G3) on Friel’s For Real
• established a career-best with five winners at Laurel Park on October 18, 2004
• earned 1,000th career winner on December 19, 2007 when Johnny Z. reached the wire first at Laurel Park
• tied a career-high with five wins at Laurel on April 5, 2008 including the Primonetta Stakes aboard Hungarian Boatbaby
Apprentice rider Eli Rosa will return Saturday after missing nearly a year. Rosa broke his left arm and dislocated his left wrist in a spill at Charles Town March 23, 2013. The 24-year-old, who finished 10th in the 2013 Laurel Park winter standings, has been galloping horses for trainers John Rigattieri, Linda Gaudet and Lacey Gaudet since mid-January.
WEDNESDAY CARD CANCELLED AFTER THIRD RACE
Laurel Park officials cancelled the final six races on Wednesday’s card. The day began with the main track listed fast but with temperatures rising to 40 degrees by the third race, moisture came to the top of the main track.
“The rising temperatures were what worried me this morning,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “The changes from cold to warm caused a nightmare on the race track. We have had a tremendous amount of moisture between snow, ice and rain. My crew is great but sometimes Mother Nature wins and Mother Nature won today.”
Live racing is scheduled to return Thursday afternoon with a nine-race program. First post is 12:35 p.m. Eastern.
About Laurel Park
Laurel Park is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.