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Maryland Jockey Club Honors Castellano
LAUREL, MD. 02-16-13---The Maryland Jockey Club honored jockey Abel Castellano Saturday afternoon for finishing atop the standings at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course last year. Castellano finished 2012 with 132 victories at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park,11 more than 2011 champion Sheldon Russell.He teamed up with top conditioner Jamie Ness for 69 victories.
“Jamie Ness and Midwest Thoroughbreds had a lot to do with this title,” Castellano said. “I’m very blessed to be leading rider in 2012. You got to work hard for that. That’s what I did.”
The 29-year-old finished 2012 ranked 25th nationally in wins (192) and was 50th in earnings ($4.4 million). Statistically the only better year he had was 2004 when he established career-highs in wins (201) and earnings ($5 million).
“When I arrived in Maryland in 2003 I was not even 20 years old,” added Castellano said. “I truly grew up here. I am now married with three kids and have so much more responsibility. I think that helps me focus as a rider.”
Saturday festivities also featured a social media event called “Digital Reins”, which included a complimentary continental breakfast, fee pilsner glass and $2 drafts.
Also on display during the Winter Carnival were Ice Sculptures of some of the top runners in Maryland from a year ago and an Ice Wall with $2,500 in prizes frozen inside. The first 2,500 paid fans in attendance received a free fleece scarf. Those who wear the scarf to Laurel on Monday afternoon will receive free admission.
Monday’s 10-race card is headlined by the $250,000 General George Handicap (G3).
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.