Breaking news in advance of Saturday's 14-race Florida Derby program came with a Tweet from John Panagot, agent for jockey Javier Castellano, announcing that the Hall of Fame rider has tested positive for the coronavirus, or COVID-19, that was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11.
Castellano, who had not ridden since March 15, was required to undergo a physical earlier this week by Gulfstream Park officials when he returned to South Florida from New York. He was tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday and the results were announced on Thursday. Panagot said Castellano showed no symptoms of the virus and would remain in self-isolation until cleared by medical professionals.
Castellano had been named to ride in 12 of the 14 Florida Derby Day races, including the Grade 1 Florida Derby itself aboard Candy Tycoon, runner-up in the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Florida Derby Day consists of 14 races, including 10 stakes, and begins at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Watch today's Triple Crown news minute below:
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