Pedroza Returns to the Saddle; Omaha Red Takes on Treasury in Saturday Allowance Feature
New Orleans, La (Feb. 9, 2021) – After suffering a hairline fracture fibula while loading into the gates on Jan. 19, Marcelino Pedroza, Jr. returned to Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Thursday morning, exercising a few horses and breezing the Patricia West-trained G’s Million.
“Hopefully (we’ll be riding for the same barns), it seems like we will,” Pedroza’s agent John Herbstreit said. “It was a tiny fracture and there wasn’t anything they could do about it but give it time to heal.”
The first-call rider for trainer Sam David Jr, and one of the go-to riders for the likes of Greg Foley, Brad Cox, Patricia West and Hugh Robertson, among others, Pedroza has finished in the top 10 of the Fair Grounds’ jockey standings seven times since first joining the colony in 2013-14. Over that time span, the native of Panama has won 328 races locally. Pedroza has captured three leading rider crowns at Horseshoe Indianapolis.
“I’m hoping he’s on a few next week,” Herbstreit said. “They draw entries today for next Thursday’s card, so we’re hoping he’s back aboard on Thursday.”
Pedroza is named on one horse for Thursday, Feb. 16. Nancy Vanier and Lyda Williamson’s Hat Tip trained by Brian Williamson is on the also-eligible list and would need two scratches to draw in that turf allowance.
Pedroza rode O Besos in the 2021 Kentucky Derby, finishing fifth for the Foley barn.
Saturday’s feature race brings together an evenly-matched field of older males going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. The second-level allowance is also a match-up of sorts between a pair of formful runners who have had similar racing luck at Fair Grounds. Both Treasury and Omaha Red have recently been in peak form and run a winning race, only to get beat by a top opponent in their division prepping for stakes company.
Robert Johnson and Britt Haselton’s speedster Treasury is the morning line favorite at 3-1. The 6-year-old is an impressive 10-for-10 in the money at Fair Grounds for trainer Grant Forster. With two wins over the track, this consistent formful son of Speightstown has run into the likes of Proxy, Zozos, and Shared Sense over those ten races, who proved to be too much.
“He’s been doing as good as ever,” Forster said. “He’s a horse with one style of running (to the lead), that’s the only way he wants to run.”
Treasury earned a 95, the highest Brisnet Speed figure of his career, last out when facing the Paul McGee trainee Big Blue Line, a likely starter in next Saturday’s Mineshaft (G3).
“I talked with Deshawn (Parker, jockey) after the last race and we decided we want to use (Treasury’s) speed more and make everyone work behind him,” Forster said. “Last race Deshawn had him relaxed, which was great, but he kept everybody close, and then it became a sprint to the end. He’s not going to out-kick these guys to the end. His game is to make everyone work down the backside while he’s running along because he can do it easily, and then he’s just got to last.”
Wolfe Racing and Hugh Robertson’s 4-year-old colt Omaha Red has finished in the money in 11 of his 13 starts. His last two place finishes came at Fair Grounds against buzz saws by the name of Strobe and Uphold the Law. Trainer Hugh Robertson has decided to stretch out Omaha Red for the first time.
“If he’s ever going to be an upper-level horse he’s going to have to run long,” Robertson said. “That’s my thinking. He’s a good sprinter but he’s not a top sprinter. I see his Tomlinson numbers are high, though I know many Daahers (his sire) are sprinters.”
Omaha Red’s Brisnet Speed Figures have been impressive, running a 91 two back and a 94 most recently. Co-leading jockey Jareth Loveberry was aboard Omaha Red for both those races and he retains the mount for Saturday.
“The reason I bought (Omaha Red) is he’s out of a mare that’s closely related to Hot Shot Anna, that family,” Robertson said. “She was such a good filly. He’s out of her half-sister, also bred by Paul Tackett.”
Omaha Red’s dam Upsteer is a half-sibling to Hot Shot Anna, both out of the Holy Bull dam Avalos. Hugh Robertson’s multiple graded stakes winner Hot Shot Anna won 12 races and was just shy of $1 million in lifetime earnings.
Scheduled as race 8 on Saturday’s 9-race card, a field of ten are entered. Treasury drew post No. 10 and Omaha Red drew post No. 7. Post time is 4:45 p.m. CT.