Marcelino Pedroza Nears 1,000th Victory After Stakes Win At Indiana Grand

Fireball Baby got back on track with a win in the $75,000 ITOBA Stallion Season Fillies Stakes Saturday, Oct. 19 at Indiana Grand. The race was dedicated to the memory of Indiana trainer Julee Rodriguez, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year at Indiana Grand.

Fireball Baby was the heavy favorite of the nine-horse field and moved with authority out of the starting gate for jockey Marcelino Pedroza. First Lady Maggie and Angel Serpa established themselves as the early race leaders but had constant pressure on them from the outside as Fireball Baby stayed close. The top two were joined at the half of the one-mile race by Runninawaywithit and Eddie Perez, who also positioned themselves on the outside seeking good positioning for the final stages of the race.

Around the turn, Fireball Baby began to ignite into a quicker gear and Runninawaywithit went right along with her to the lead. The two hooked up for a few strides in the stretch before Fireball Baby moved on to win the race by five and one-half lengths. Runninawaywithit was a commanding second over First Lady Maggie, who rounded out the top three. The time of the stakes race was 1:38.71, just missing the stakes record set by Carmalley Chrome and Rodney Prescott in 2016 in a time of 1:38.71.

“We got a good spot early on,” said Pedroza, who is en route to the Leading Jockey title at Indiana Grand this season. “I talked with Mr. Bauer (Philip Bauer) and last time she stumbled a little out of the gate and didn’t like dirt in her face. After the three-quarters, she responded to me and got the job done.”

Fireball Baby earned her fourth career win in 11 career starts for Bauer, who trains the sophomore filly by Noble’s Promise for Richard and Tammy Rigney’s Rigney Racing. She increased her career bankroll to more than $250,000 with the win, which was her third stakes career stakes victory. The Rigney’s also raised the home-bred filly. They also campaigned the stallion, Noble’s Promise, who passed away last year.

Although Rigney was not in attendance, his daughters, Claire and Madison were trackside to join Fireball Baby in the winner’s circle.

“My dad is in Nicker Island,” said Claire. “I am so very proud of her, I love her.”

Madison also added, “It was amazing she won and I’m so very excited.”

Pedroza also had a lot to be excited about. The win aboard Fireball Baby was his 999th career victory. The race also pushed him over the record for most purse earnings in one year by a jockey at Indiana Grand. Pedroza eclipsed the mark of $3,146,193 set by Fernando De La Cruz during the 2016 season. Horses ridden by Pedroza have now raked in more than $3.25 million in purse earnings this season at Indiana Grand. A native of Panama, Pedroza scored his 141st win of the meet, nearly 50 ahead of his next closest competitor in the jockey standings.

“I’m not riding anywhere else the next couple of days, so I hope to be back here Tuesday and score my 1,000th win,” added Pedroza.

The post Marcelino Pedroza Nears 1,000th Victory After Stakes Win At Indiana Grand appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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