Hallandale Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Leading jockey Javier Castellano is closing in on the single season earnings mark currently held by Ramon Dominguez.
Entering the weekend's racing, Castellano is standing at $25,626,003 for 2013 just $8,850 behind the record Dominguez set last year of $25,634,852.
"It means a lot to me because when you start riding horses, you don't think you're going to get to that level, and the level where I'm at is amazing. I'm blessed," Castellano said.
The earnings reflect only races run in North America. Joel Rosario won the Dubai World Cup with Animal Kingdom in March and that victory together with his North American winnings has him at more than $27 million for the year.
Castellano has 344 wins for the year from 1,551 starts and will be back riding Friday at Gulfstream Park when he has six mounts.
"I don't want to take anything away from Ramon Dominguez, because Ramon Dominguez is such a great guy, a very good friend of mine, very close to me," Castellano said. "I feel so flattered to be at that level, to win so many races and get the chance to break the earnings record. I feel so great and so thankful at the same time. I appreciate everyone that's helped me get to that level."
In his career, Castellano has won 3,616 races from 20,916 mounts and $189,444,180. Last month he won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Ria Antonia and won the 2006 Preakness Stakes aboard Bernardini.