Marcelino Pedroza crowned 2017 Leading Thoroughbred Jockey

It came down to the final afternoon of racing to determine a winner, but Marcelino Pedroza had a strong showing once again, turning in a riding double and capturing his first leading jockey title at Indiana Grand. The 24-year-old second generation jockey from Panama topped the standings with 109 wins for the year, just one ahead of DeShawn Parker, who completed the meet with 108.

Marcelino Pedroza and his wife, Rosie, find shelter under umbrellas for the presentation of the 2017 Leading Jockey award. Kevin Greely, director of racing, and Rachel McLaughlin, on-air racing personality, make the presentation. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Pedroza came into the final day of racing for the 120-day season with a one-win lead over Parker. The two jockeys had been exchanging the top spot for the past week. Both riders scored riding triples on Thursday, Oct. 26 and followed it up with riding doubles, which in the end, gave the nod to Pedroza.

A graduate of the Laffit Pincay Jockey School in his native Panama, Pedroza has been riding since he was 16 years old. He came to the United States in 2010 and has been a consistent performer in the Midwest since his arrival. The multiple Graded Stakes placed jockey earned his 500th career win at Indiana Grand last year and now has nearly 700 career wins. Based in Kentucky, Pedroza will return to Fair Grounds when the resume racing in late November.

Pedroza and his wife, Rosie, along with their two children, were presented with the Leading Thoroughbred trophy following the final Thoroughbred race of 2017 Friday, Oct. 27. Kevin Greely, director of racing, and Rachel McLaughlin, racing broadcast production manager, conducted the presentation from the winner’s circle.

Pedroza completed the year with a 20 percent win percentage and a 51 percent “in the money” statistics line. Horses ridden by Pedroza during the 2017 meet at Indiana Grand earned in excess of $2.5 million.