Mage’s Kentucky Derby Win Was a First for Jockey and Trainer Alike

He began the day with 15-1 odds

Mage at the Kentucky Derby
Jockey Javier Castellano celebrates atop of Mage #8 after winning the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The 149th edition of the Kentucky Derby recently concluded, and the winner was something of an underdog when the race began. That would be a horse named Mage, who began the day with 15-1 odds to win and ended it having provided what no horse before him had obtained: the first Kentucky Derby wins for both jockey Javier Castellano and trainer Gustavo Delgado.

An article by Aaron Mudd at the Lexington Herald-Leader offers a good primer into Mage’s racing days thus far, noting that he finished second in the Derby earlier this year. Mudd also pointed out that Mage was sold via the auction house Keeneland — the 24th Kentucky Derby winner to do so.

Writing at The New York Times, Melissa Hoppert pointed to the storied history of Mage’s rider and trainer for this competition. This was Castellano’s first Kentucky Derby win; he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2017. Delgado, for his part, established himself as a trainer in Venezuela before making a mark on the racing world in the U.S.

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Mage’s win ended an unsettling week for the sport, with two horses dying earlier in the day, as reported by ESPN. All told, seven horses died as a result of injuries this week at Churchill Downs — leading to an investigation into the circumstances of their deaths.

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