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Javier Castellano tests positive for COVID-19, Florida Derby 2020 in jeopardy?

Javier Castellano
Jockey Javier Castellano has tested positive for COVID-19. Pic credit: The New York Racing Association, Inc./YouTube

The more we are learning about coronavirus, the more we realize that this is not just an infection for the elderly.

Several top athletes have tested positive for the virus over the last few weeks, and now it has found its way into horse racing.

Javier Castellano tests positive for coronavirus

Hall of Fame American jockey Javier Castellano tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Just like so many others who have had absolutely no symptoms of COVID-19, yet are testing positive, Castellano was shocked when he got the news according to his agent, John Panagot.

Panagot announced Castellano’s condition Thursday morning via his Twitter page.

Castellano was tested on Tuesday after Gulfstream Park officials mandated that he takes a physical before practicing for the upcoming Florida Derby this weekend.

Castellano’s results returned positive Thursday morning, leaving him and his agent in shock.

Just one day before getting his results, Castellano was doing his regular workout routine — which included a three-mile run. As revealed in his tweet, Panagot indicated that Castellano felt fine and feels fine as of today.

“Javier is asymptomatic and feels fine and healthy,” Panagot said. “He jogged three miles Wednesday and looked forward to the weekend.”

Florida Derby in jeopardy?

On the heels of the Rebel States and the Louisiana Derby, will the Florida Derby continue on, or will Gulfstream Park close down due to the latest news on Castellano?

According to Horse Racing Nation, Castellano never entered Gulfstream Park following his physical, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Technically, Castellano had to wait for all of his test results before entering Gulfstream Park. Following the positive result for COVID-19, Castellano was not allowed into the Park, according to Gulfstream reps.

“He was not allowed at (Gulfstream Park) — anywhere on the property — unless he went to a doctor for a check-up,” the spokesman said.

Castellano had a big weekend schedule ahead, but those plans have changed. The world-famous jockey was scheduled to ride Candy Tycoon in the Florida Derby, and Spice is Nice in the Gulfstream Park Oaks.

Instead of riding, Castellano will begin his self-isolation period until he’s medically cleared to hit the race track once again.

Gulfstream based jockeys Irad Ortiz Jr. and Rajiv Maragh have taken time off in spurts at Gulfstream as safety precautions.

Just like the last two Kentucky Derby Stakes races, this weekend’s Florida Derby will take place in an empty stadium.

The Florida Derby is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m., ET.

Joseph Karbousky has been freelance writing since 2010 and more

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