Jockey Jesus Castanon rode favored In Tall Cotton to a 1 ½-length victory in Friday night’s third race to collect his 300th Churchill Downs victory.
Castanon, 41, is only the 25th jockey in Churchill Downs’ storied history to reach the 300-win plateau beneath the Twin Spires. Retired Hall of Famer Pat Day leads all riders with 2,482 local victories.
Castanon, a native of Mexico City, is best known as the regular rider of 2011 Preakness and 2012 Clark Handicap winner Shackleford. He began riding in 1989 and collected his first win that at the defunct Agua Caliente in Tijuana at age 16. In the fall of 1994, Castanon moved his tack to Churchill Downs for the first time, and has ridden in 32 local meets since then. A winner of riding titles at Tampa Bay Downs, Ellis Park and Turfway, Castanon’s best finish in the Churchill Downs jockey standings was a tie for fourth at the 2011 Fall Meet.
Overall, Castanon’s mounts have won more than 2,200 races and $49.7 million over a span of 26 years.