Goldikova, Espinoza Among Hall of Fame Inductees

By BloodHorse Staff
April 24, 2017-Three-time Breeders' Cup Mile (G1T) winner Goldikova, multiple Eclipse Award-winning jockeys Javier Castellano and the late Garrett Gomez, and Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza have been elected to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in the contemporary category, it was announced April 24.

The electees will be inducted into the Hall of Fame Aug. 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion. The ceremony is open to the public and free to attend.

Goldikova, Castellano, Espinoza, and Gomez will be inducted along with the previously announced steeplechase selections of Tom Voss and Good Night Shirt. The Pillars of the Turf inductees will be announced in May.

Bred in Ireland, Goldikova (Anabaa—Born Gold, by Blushing Groom) posted a career record of 17 wins from 27 starts and earned $7,176,551. The only three-time Breeders' Cup Mile winner (2008, 2009, 2010)—and one of only two horses along with Beholder to win three Breeders' Cup races—Goldikova won the Eclipse Award for Champion Turf Female in 2009 and 2010. Based in Europe, Goldikova was bred and owned by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer and trained by Freddy Head. Racing from 2007 through 2011, Goldikova won a total of 14 grade/group 1 races—a record among European-based fillies and mares—including nine victories against males.

Castellano, 39, has won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey each of the past four years. Through April 23, he has 4,664 career wins and ranks fifth all time in purse earnings with more than $276 million in a career that began in 1997. Castellano has won 10 riding titles on the New York Racing Association circuit, five at Gulfstream Park and two at Keeneland.

North America's leading rider in earnings each year from 2013 through 2016 and the leader by wins in 2013 and 2015, Castellano set a single-year earnings record with $28.1 million in 2015. He has won 352 graded stakes, ranked in the top 10 in earnings 11 times and the top 10 in wins seven times. Castellano won the 2006 Preakness Stakes (G1) with eventual champion Bernardini   and has won the Travers a record five times. A winner of seven Breeders' Cup races, Castellano's top mounts have included 2004 Horse of the Year and Hall of Fame member Ghostzapper  , as well as champions Flintshire  , Honor Code  , Princess of Sylmar, Dayatthespa and Zagora.

Espinoza, 44, has won 3,318 races though April 23 with purse earnings of more than $193 million in a career that began in 1992. He ranks 17th all time in earnings. The regular rider for 2015 Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year American Pharoah and two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome, Espinoza twice won the first two legs of the Triple Crown—with War Emblem in 2002 and California Chrome in 2014—before sweeping the series with American Pharoah.

One of only 10 jockeys to win the Kentucky Derby three times or more, Espinoza has won 243 graded stakes in his career and has ranked in the top 10 nationally in earnings seven times. He has won four riding titles at both Del Mar and Hollywood Park and two at Santa Anita Park. The winner of the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 2016, Espinoza has won three Breeders' Cup races and set a track record by winning seven races on a single card at Del Mar in 2006.

Gomez (1972-2016) won 3,769 races with purse earnings of more than $205 million in a career that began in 1988 and concluded in 2013. He ranks 14th all time in earnings. The winner of the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 2007 and 2008, Gomez won 13 Breeders' Cup races and earned the Bill Shoemaker Award as the top jockey at the Breeders' Cup four times. He won a record 76 stakes races in 2007 and was the North American leading rider by earnings each year from 2006 through 2009.

A winner of 318 graded stakes races, Gomez won three riding titles at Hollywood Park and one each at Arlington Racecourse, Keeneland and Santa Anita. Among his Breeders' Cup victories was the 2010 Classic with champion Blame, handing Zenyatta her lone career defeat. Gomez ranked among the top 10 in earnings seven times.

The contemporary selections were chosen from a nationwide voting panel comprised of 186 racing writers, broadcasters, industry officials and historians from a group of 11 finalists selected by the Hall of Fame's nominating committee.