Marcelino Pedroza Jr. has had a stellar season thus far at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino and he just added another accomplishment to his already impressive year. Pedroza Jr. guided Emmy's Candy to victory in the fourth race of the day Tuesday, Oct. 22 to mark his 1,000th career win.
Owned and trained by Gary Patrick, Emmy's Candy got out of the gate well in the five and one-half furlong sprint and sat second behind Shape of You and Sammy Camacho Jr. until the top of the stretch. The four-year-old Ohio bred filly by Sidney's Candy then took over and had a wall of challengers behind her, but she held strong, crossing the wire as a two and one-half length winner in a time of 1:04.87. Dance Proposal and Ezequiel Lara finished second over Gemini Journey and Virginia Tormey for third.
It was the sixth career win for Emmy's Candy and the first on the day for Pedroza in his second start of the day. He scored his 999th career win Saturday, Oct. 19 in the $75,000 Julee Rodriguez Memorial ITOBA Stallion Season Fillies Stakes with Fireball Baby.
“I was hoping to get my 1,000th on Saturday, but I finished that night with a stakes win so it turned out to be a good night,” said Pedroza. “I'm so happy the win was aboard this filly. She is very special. This is the same filly that Perry (Ouzts) won his 7,000th career win on last year, so to win on the same filly is very special to me.”
So far this season, Pedroza has catapulted himself into the lead of the jockey standings, 50 ahead of his next closest competitor. His 1,000th victory as also his 141st of the meet at Indiana Grand. The Panamanian born jockey set a new track record earlier this season for most wins in one night, booting home six winners on the Thursday, Sept. 5 racing program. This past weekend, Pedroza also surpassed a previous record set by Fernando De La Cruz in 2016 for most purse earnings recorded by a jockey in one season, now topping more than $3.2 million in purses this season.
Although slightly elusive, a third record could be in jeopardy as Pedroza is 17 wins away from matching Malcolm Franklin's season in 2013 with 158 wins, the most ever recorded by a jockey in one meet. With eight Thoroughbred racing programs left on the year, Pedroza would have to average 2 wins per day to catch the record.
Pedroza is now among the top five all-time jockeys at Indiana Grand with 484 career wins at the Shelbyville, Ind. track. He will also record his second leading jockey title at Indiana Grand at the conclusion of the 2019 meet, winning the title in 2017. The multiple Graded Stakes placed jockey has more than $24 million in career earnings since arriving in the United States in 2010. With all his success in 2019, he did note it has been a tough year for him.
“My mother (Sugey) passed away earlier this year in Panama of brain cancer, and that is still very hard,” added Pedroza. “I'm missing my mom, especially at times like this, and I'm wanting her to be here.”
Pedroza was greeted in the winner's circle following his milestone wins by his wife, Rocio and daughter, Rosie and son Jeremy, along with several jockeys and team members from Indiana Grand. The 26-year-old jockey plans to ride at Fair Grounds in New Orleans this winter before returning to Indiana in the spring of 2020.
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