Castellano, Brown and Dubb earn top honors in Belmont Stakes Racing Festival Championship
by NYRA Press Office
Chad Brown, Javier Castellano and Michael Dubb took top honors in the 2018 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival Championship for best overall performance by a trainer, jockey and owner, respectively, during the three-day event at Belmont Park.
The competition, based on a 5-3-2-1 point basis, began with the first race on Thursday, June 7 and continued through the 13-race card on Belmont Stakes Day, June 9, which was highlighted by Justify becoming the 13th Triple Crown winner after capturing the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets. The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival featured 33 races, including 18 stakes, offering $9.4 million in purses.
The category for the "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons Award for Outstanding Trainer saw Brown, the two-time reigning Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Trainer, finish atop the leaderboard with 53 points. Out of 26 starters, Brown saddled five winners and earned six second-place finishes and a pair of third-place efforts, highlighted by A Raving Beauty's win in the Grade 1 Longines Just a Game, Fourstar Crook's win in the Grade 2 New York presented by NYRA Bets, Lewis Bay's victory in the Grade 3 Bed o'Roses Invitational and Gronkowski's second-place finish in the Belmont Stakes.
Castellano finished on the board in 53.85 percent of his 26 total mounts, earning more than $1.2 million in purses to win the Eddie Arcaro Award. The Hall of Famer registered 51 points on the strength of five wins, six second-place finishes and three third-place efforts. Castellano led Call To Mind, owned by Her Majesty, the Queen, to victory in the Grade 2 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational on June 8 and also piloted Imperial Hint to a win in the True North also with Our Braintrust's victory in the Tremont on the day before Belmont Stakes Day.
Earning the August Belmont II trophy was Dubb, whose four victories in nine starts was double the next-closest competitors in China Horse Club International (co-owner of Justify) and James Riccio for the festival.
The custom-designed Tiffany & Co. sterling silver trophies are named after August Belmont II, the builder of Belmont Park and winner of three Belmont Stakes, James "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons, who trained six Belmont Stakes winners, including Triple Crown champions Gallant Fox in 1930 and Omaha in 1935, and Eddie Arcaro, a two-time Triple Crown winner, with Whirlaway in 1941 and Citation in 1948, who also picked up victories in four other editions of the Belmont Stakes, aboard Shut Out in 1942, Pavot in 1945, One Count in 1952 and Nashua in 1955.