Espinoza and Castellano Join the Late Garrett Gomez in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame
Victor Espinoza and Javier Castellano will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, Aug. 4 at the Fasig-Tipton pavilion as part of the class of 2017. They will join the Hall of Fame Friday morning with the late jockey Garrett Gomez. The only equine to get the Call to the Hall in 2017 is Goldikova, one of the finest fillies who won the Breeders’ Cup Mile three years in a row from 2008-2010.
Espinoza has won 3,325 races in his career through the end of July with purse earnings of more than $194 million. He rode American Pharoah to the Triple Crown and Horse of the Year honors in 2015. Espinoza has also won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with War Emblem and two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome. He has also won 12 Southern California riding titles including four at Del Mar, site of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup.
“This is really just amazing,” Espinoza said Thursday from Saratoga Springs, where he was preparing for the ceremony. “It’s new for me. I never, ever even once thought about something like the Hall of Fame. When I started riding (at age 17) it was just day-to-day, trying to make a living.”
Espinoza was the rider for popular champion California Chrome, before he cemented his legacy with Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in 2015.
“I’ve been lucky to ride some incredible horses,” he said. “But to be on a Triple Crown winner, that’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It’s the ultimate.”
Castellano, who has won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey each of the past four years, has won 4,727 races in his career with purse earnings of more than $284 million. He has won the Preakness Stakes twice, including this year with Cloud Computing. Castellano has also won the Travers Stakes a record five times and seven Breeders’ Cup races.
Castellano will ride one of the favorites Friday, Big Handsome, in the $200,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (G2). Then on Saturday, he’ll be aboard War Story in the $1.2 million Whitney Stakes at the Spa.
Espinoza (Friday) and Castellano (Saturday) will be signing limited-edition commemorative posters commissioned by the Museum from renowned artist Greg Montgomery. Each autograph will cost $15 and includes the poster.
The Hall of Fame ceremony is open to the public and free to attend (limited seating). The ceremony will also be streamed live at www.racingmuseum.org.