Castro sets record with nine winners on a card

MIAMI -- Eddie Castro became the first jockey in North America to ride nine winners on a single card when he accomplished the feat at Calder on Saturday.

The late Chris Antley also won nine races in a single day, Oct. 31, 1987, but did so at two different racetracks, Aqueduct and The Meadowlands.

Castro's record-setting performance included an easy victory aboard Snug Harbour in the $100,000 Office Queen Stakes and gave the meet's leading rider 14 winners over a two-day span. Castro, the defending champion at both the Calder and Tropical at Calder meetings, has won 45 races over the first 29 days of the current session.

Castro won with nine of the 11 mounts he accepted Saturday, including the last five races on the 13-race card. He equaled the single card mark of eight winners with a nose victory aboard Agent Won in the 12th race, then set the new standard when drawing off to a lopsided triumph with the odds-on favorite Ben's Advantage in the finale.

Along the way Saturday, Castro shattered the existing Calder record of six winners on a single program which had been shared by six riders.

"I knew I was on some good mounts today but it's hard to believe I could win nine in one day," said Castro. "I'm very excited about this record because those guys I beat are all great riders. When I'm riding these kind of horses I just try to take advantage and make the most of it but it also takes some luck to win this many."

Castro, who turned 20 in April, began his riding career in his native Panama. He came to the U.S. during the spring of 2003 and was an instant success ultimately winning an Eclipse Award as the nation's top apprentice rider that year.