Full Time: Pedroza Plans To Ride 7 Days A Week Between Ellis Park, Indiana Grand - Horse Racing News

Jockey Marcelino Pedroza Jr.

Ellis Park’s driving colony the previous number of several years has been rather a great deal an extension of Churchill Downs’ jockey inhabitants. This summer season the Ellis jocks’ place also will seem a large amount like Indiana Grand.

Ellis Park opens Sunday June 27 and operates by way of Sept. 4. With racing Fridays via Sundays, its timetable dovetails seamlessly with Indiana Grand, which this yr operates Mondays via Thursdays. The only overlap involving the tracks three hours aside is Thursday, July 1.

1 could experience entire-time at each tracks — if a person doesn’t thoughts riding 7 days a 7 days all summer season. And Marcelino Pedroza isn’t going to. He, alongside with DeShawn Parker and Fernando De La Cruz, headlines the distinguished Indiana jockeys wanting to make hay at the Pea Patch.

“I’m so younger, that if I can do it suitable now, why not?” the 28-calendar year-previous Pedroza reported. “I skipped a ton of times previous yr, possibly rode only three months. So I really feel fresh.”

Pedroza was sidelined for 4 months in early 2020 with a fractured collar bone, returning to experience 9 races in May possibly prior to an elbow personal injury retained him off one more 3 1/2 months. He arrived again as powerful as at any time, profitable 49 races at New Orleans’ Honest Grounds more than the winter to finish sixth in the standings. He now prospects at Indiana Grand with 27 victories due to the fact that meet started April 13.

Parker possesses 5,864 profession victories, which includes foremost the country in 2010 and 2011. The jockey, who began using in 1988, expended a great deal of his job in West Virginia and then Texas before relocating in 2017 to Indiana Grand, exactly where he previously is No. 8 all-time in victories. He won his initial Indiana Grand title with 106 victories throughout very last year’s COVID-shortened satisfy and at the moment ranks 3rd with 18. Parker was honored in March as receiver of the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, voted on by riders nationally to recognize a single of their individual for an remarkable vocation and character.

The Peruvian-born De La Cruz won Indiana Grand’s 2014 and 2016 driving crowns. He is the track’s all-time using chief in purse earnings at far more than $25 million in the track’s 19-calendar year record. His 35 stakes victories in the condition also are a record. He joins all-time track chief Rodney Prescott as the only jockey with additional than 1,000 wins at Indiana Grand.

Jose Batista, who has 14 wins at Indiana Grand this satisfy, furthermore will experience both tracks. In addition to report purses at Ellis Park, clearly the jockeys are hoping that a bigger existence this summer months in Kentucky sets up opportunities in the slide at Churchill Downs and Keeneland.

“There are a great deal of superior horses to ride in Kentucky,” De La Cruz mentioned on the Churchill Downs backstretch. “That’s the purpose I am with my agent walking close to below, attempting to get some good company.”

The Panamanian-born Pedroza was a fixture at Ellis earlier in his career. He won 20 races to tie for third in the 2015 using standings and also was third in 2013 with 23.

Pedroza also potential customers at Indiana Grand this meet up with in purse earnings ($698,156) and mounts (161) as he pursues his 3rd riding title at the Shelbyville monitor. He was foremost rider in 2017 and then ran absent with the 2019 Indiana Grand title, his 152 wins and $3,407,744 in purses documents for the 120-date meet.

“Last 12 months I was damage, so that does not depend,” Pedroza, who lives in Louisville, explained a short while ago at Churchill Downs. “And the 12 months right before that, I was performing so very well at Indiana that I was not wondering about (using at Ellis). I was not riding right here at Churchill, so I wasn’t fearful about driving everywhere else than Indiana. Now I am contemplating to do far more.”

Although he has ridden sparingly at Churchill Downs so considerably this meet, Pedroza has built the most of minimal possibilities. That incorporates profitable the $150,000 Aristides Stakes on Bango and ending next in the Grade 3 Matt Winn aboard O Besos, who four weeks previously rallied to be fifth in Pedroza’s to start with Kentucky Derby. Equally horses are properly trained by Greg Foley.

“It was a terrific working experience, I will not even have the text,” Pedroza reported of the Derby. “It was a big dream come legitimate. No excuses. The horse ran significant.”

Asked about Pedroza, Foley reported, “Marcelino is a superior rider, period. A very good child, class act. I like him. I wouldn’t have ridden him in the Derby if I did not feel he could experience.”

The Indiana jockeys will increase to an currently robust driving colony that should really function most of the Churchill Downs regulars. That incorporates 2020 Ellis chief Joe Talamo, 2019 champ James Graham, Corey Lanerie (five Ellis titles), Rafael Bejarano (two titles), two-time Eclipse Award-profitable jockey Julien Leparoux, former apprentice Eclipse Award winners Brian Hernandez and Shaun Bridgmohan, alongside with Miguel Mena, Adam Beschizza, Gabriel Saez, Mitchell Murrill, Colby Hernandez, Declan Cannon and many others. In addition, Louisville item Drayden Van Dyke will be centered at Ellis Park for the to start with time this summer after creating the move to Kentucky earlier this spring from California.

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