Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a tweet from agent John Panagot Thursday morning.
Panagot indicated that Castellano was required by Gulfstream Park to take a physical, after which he was tested for coronavirus on Tuesday.
The rider is reportedly “asymptomatic and feels fine and healthy.”
Javier Castellano COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/bfB6JC5ZeI
— John Panagot (@JohnPanagot) March 26, 2020
Castellano has not ridden a race since March 15 and has recently ridden at Gulfstream, Oaklawn, and Tampa Bay Downs. He was named this weekend on Candy Tycoon in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, as well as Spice Is Nice in the G2 Gulfstream Park Oaks and American Tattoo (ARG) in the G3 Hal's Hope. He was named on four races on the March 26 card, and six on the March 27 card at Gulfstream.
Castellano will be self-isolating until he is medically cleared.
Gulfstream Park made the following statement Thursday afternoon: “Our thoughts go out to Javier Castellano today and we are so glad to hear that he is asymptomatic. At Gulfstream Park, we have been operating in full compliance with all executive orders issued by the state of Florida and have, in fact, initiated stringent measures for the protection of all of our essential personnel, including our jockeys. It is because of our strict protocols requiring all jockeys to be screened prior to entering the facility that Javier's symptoms were recognized and he was able to be tested for which we know he is thankful. Javier last rode at Gulfstream Park on March 15th and has not been back to the property since.
“Javier will not be able to return to riding at Gulfstream Park until after his mandatory 14-day quarantine is complete and he has received a clean bill of health from his medical practitioner. We wish him a speedy and complete recovery.”
In a California Horse Racing Board teleconference on Thursday, The Stronach Group's chief strategy officer Aidan Butler said that Castellano had not been exposed to the rider colony at Gulfstream recently because he had traveled back to his regular base in New York and as a result, been required to stay away for 15 days upon his return to Florida.
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