Birthdate: March 4, 1973
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico
Residence: Louisville, Ky
Family: wife, Rolanda “Roly” Castanon; sons, Drew and Isaiah
Castanon has a racing pedigree. His late father was a trainer in his native Mexico and brothers Tony and Jose are also jockeys. Jesus Castanon’s wife, Roly, who is a trainer, also had a career in the saddle, and was among the nominees for the Eclipse Award for outstanding apprentice in 2000.
He won his first Triple Crown race in 2011, guiding Shackleford to victory in the Preakness Stakes (G1). He became quite emotional on a television interview afterwards, saying he knew his father – who passed away in November 2010 – was watching over him. The Preakness also was his first Grade 1 victory.
His first win came in his home country at Agua Caliente in 1989. Shortly after, he began racing in California. Castanon has won riding titles at Tampa Bay Downs and Ellis Park, and he notched his 2,000 career victory at Keeneland Race Course on October 8, 2010.