Saturday was an epic day for Castellano family — and that’s a massive understatement — but neither Abel nor Javier Castellano lost sight of what truly mattered in the midst of a historic day.
For the unaware, the 149th Kentucky Derby took place on Saturday afternoon and the horse Mage, a 15-1 shot, won with Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano at the helm.
Mage and Castellano earned a cool $1.86 million for winning the first leg of horse racing’s legendary Triple Crown.
Winning the Kentucky Derby is obviously a big deal and nobody would’ve blamed Castellano for being overcome with emotion or at a loss for words in the immediate aftermath of his win.
And yet, Castellano still knew exactly whom he wanted to thank “first.”
Faith-based sports site Sports Spectrum tweeted that moment out and you can take a look for yourself below:
“First of all, thank you Lord Jesus Christ for giving me the opportunity to win the Derby.”
Javier Castellano gives praise where it’s due after winning first Kentucky Derby
(📺 – NBC Sports) pic.twitter.com/OayiIpTavx
— Sports Spectrum (@Sports_Spectrum) May 6, 2023
“First of all, thank you Lord Jesus Christ for giving me the opportunity to win the Derby,” Castellano said.
Did you watch the Kentucky Derby?
Yes: 29% (12 Votes)
No: 71% (29 Votes)
Javier wasn’t the only one thanking “the name that is above every name,” as his brother, Abel Castellano had this to tweet in the immediate aftermath of Javier’s win:
— Abel Castellano (@AbelCastellano_) May 6, 2023
“My Brother [won] the Kentucky Derby wow!!!” Abel Castellano, a retired jockey himself, tweeted out. “God is great. [Praise] lord Jesus.”
While it may seem like a small moment, what the Castellano brothers are doing can’t be understated.
Celebrities and professional athletes from all walks of life are often derided for being poor role models (and justifiably so in many cases) so it’s only fair to also laud celebrities and pro athletes when they actually go out of their way to set a good example.
And it’s difficult to fathom of a better example for young impressionable fans than being godly people in the immediate aftermath of earth-shaking success.
It was awesome to see from the winner of arguably the most well-known horse race in America, and it was also awesome to see just a few scant weeks ago at another massive sporting event — the 2023 NFL Draft.
That draft featured the No. 2 overall pick, CJ Stroud, immediately give all credit for his incredible accomplishment to Jesus Christ.
No. 2 Pick CJ Stroud: “First and foremost, I gotta always give my Lord and Savior, all the credit, Jesus Christ.” #NFLDraft2023 #NFLDraft #Texans #CJStroud #NFL #JesusIsLord pic.twitter.com/fNS9i16H5R
— God’s Gospel (@GodsGospelMin) April 28, 2023
Of course, Stroud and the Castellano are hardly the only pro athletes who are quick to praise Jesus and God in all of their triumphs. Former NFL quarterback and MLB prospect Tim Tebow is one very prominent example.
Assuming it stays in good health, Mage will have a chance to keep its Triple Crown hopes alive when the second leg of it, the Preakness Stakes, takes place on May 20.