Marcelino Pedroza, the leading jockey at Indiana Grand, captured his 1,000th career win Oct. 22 there when he guided Emmy's Candy to a 2 1/2-length victory in the fourth race.
Owned and trained by Gary Patrick, Emmy's Candy broke well in the 5 1/2-furlong sprint, rated in second, and took over in the stretch of the race for $10,000 claimers. She stopped the clock in 1:04.87, recording her sixth win and giving Pedroza his first winner Tuesday at Indiana Grand. The favorite, she paid $7.80.
Pedroza had scored his 999th career win Oct. 19 in the $75,000 Julee Rodriquez 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."
His 1,000th victory is also his 141st of the meet at Indiana Grand, leaving him far in front of Rodney Prescott and Fernando De La Cruz in the standings. The Panamanian-born jockey set a record earlier this season for most wins in one night, booting home six winners Sept. 5. This past weekend, Pedroza also surpassed a previous track record set by Fernando De La Cruz in 2016 for most earnings recorded by a jockey in one season, with his mounts earning over $3.2 million this season.
According to Indiana Grand, his 141st victory at the meet leaves him 17 wins away from matching Malcolm Franklin's season in 2013 with 158 wins, the most ever recorded by a jockey in one meet at the track. Eight Thoroughbred racing programs are left at the meet.
Pedroza is now among the top five all-time jockeys at Indiana Grand with 484 career wins at the Shelbyville, Ind. track. He is poised to record his second leading jockey title at Indiana Grand at the conclusion of the 2019 meet, after winning the title in 2017. The multiple graded stakes-placed jockey has more than $24 million in career earnings since arriving in the U.S. in 2010. With all his recent 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, who has placed in multiple graded stakes, was greeted in the winner's circle following his milestone wins by his wife, Rocio; daughter, Rosie; son, Jeremy, and jockeys and staff from Indiana Grand. The 26-year-old jockey plans to ride at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans this winter before returning to Indiana in the spring of 2020.