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Kentucky Derby winner gives thanks to Jesus after race

Jockey Javier Castellano celebrates aboard Mage #8 after winning the 149th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs


Cerith Gardiner - published on 05/09/23

Javier Castellano's true victory came after finally winning the Derby on his 16th attempt.

When Javier Castellano won the Kentucky Derby, before he got down from the saddle, the first person he gave thanks to was Jesus Christ.

In a post-race interview straight after his win, the new champion shared:

“First of all, Lord Jesus Christ for giving me the opportunity to win the Derby – the dream trip for any jockey, trainer, any horses in the industry of racing.”

He went on to explain how he got to be champion: “‘I never give up, I always try hard, do the right thing. It took me a little while to get there but finally I got it. I’ve been blessed.”

And it’s certain that the Venezuelan jockey has never given up! Castellano rode to victory astride his horse Mage on his 16th attempt at winning the prestigious Triple Crown race.

As the Daily Mail reported, Castellano was also quick to praise his horse, Mage:

“And truly, to give me the opportunity, the horse, the way he did it today. The little Mage, he did really well today. He’s got a lot of heart. It’s a little horse but big heart.”

And it seems the combination of the jockey’s and the horse’s hearts were just what it took to take them to a stunning victory — especially with the odds being placed at 15-1!

Now Castellano has finally won the Kentucky Derby, hopefully he can continue to inspire off the track with his strong faith.

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