Pedroza Tallies Career Win 1,500 Saturday at Fair Grounds

Contact: Kevin Kilroy
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  • Two Barns Eyeing Mardi Gras Stakes for Top Mares
  • Wilson, Guerrero, and Brittlyn Stable Current Leaders as Meet Reaches Halfway Point

New Orleans, La (Jan. 27, 2024) – Jockey Marcelino Pedroza Jr. rode his 1,500th career North American winner on Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, guiding James Schurman’s Ms Quality Control (6-5) to victory in race 5 for trainer Brad Cox.

The native of Panama achieved the milestone one day after his 30th birthday. Having joined the local colony in 2013, 335 of his 1,500 wins have come at Fair Grounds. He has finished in the top ten of the riding standings seven times.

“It feels special,” Pedroza said. “In the beginning I never thought I would win this many races, to be honest. I am so grateful for all the owners and trainers who support me and put me on so many winners.”

Teaming up with Cox for his milestone score, Pedroza also piloted Verifying to the 2023 Indiana Derby (G3) winner’s circle for the conditioner. He earned his first graded stakes win at Fair Grounds in the spring of 2021 when aboard Captivating Moon in the Fair Grounds Stakes (G3). That same year he rode O Besos for trainer Greg Foley in Kentucky Derby 147. 

Pedroza began riding in the U.S. in 2010 and has over $42 million in career earnings. He is the son of a former jockey and the nephew of rider Martin Pedroza. With 17 wins, Pedroza currently sits in tenth place in the jockey standings, as of the end of Saturday’s race day. Marcelino is currently represented by Richard Price.

Two Barns Eyeing Mardi Gras Stakes for Top Mares

Nominations for the $100,000 Mardi Gras Stakes close on Thursday, Feb. 1. Written for older fillies and mares going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf, probable entries include the Nelson J. Menard winner, Oeuvre, and the Bob F. Wright winner, Ova Charged. 

As is the tradition, Fair Grounds will host live racing on both Lundi Gras (Monday, Feb. 12) and Mardi Gras (Tuesday, Feb. 13).

Trained by Chris Block, the 15-time winner Oeuvre took the 2023 edition of the Mardi Gras Stakes. Returning to the worktab on Saturday, Jan. 20, the Illinois-bred who swept last year’s female sprint stakes series went four furlongs in :48.80 (11th best of 139). With recent heavy rains, the Block barn was one of many to skip breezing their workers on Saturday morning, Jan. 27.

Other than a second-place finish in the Victory Ride (G3) at Belmont, a loss last summer at Keeneland, and a local defeat at the hands of statebred males last spring, Ova Charged has never lost. Undefeated facing statebred fillies, she also has an open company allowance win at Monmouth and boasts 10 lifetime wins, including the 2022 Page Cortez, a 5 1/2 furlong turf sprint.  

Wilson, Guerrero, and Brittlyn Stable Current Leaders as Fair Grounds 152nd Meet Reaches Halfway Point

The 152nd meet at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots reached the halfway mark on Friday, Jan. 26. With 38 race days in the books, Shane Wilson, Jose Guerrero and Brittlyn Stables have teamed up successfully to currently be atop the trainer, jockey, and owner standings.

With 32 wins in his 11th meet at Fair Grounds, trainer Shane Wilson has already surpassed his high-water mark for local scores in a season. Assisted by his son Connor, the Wilson barn has an impressive 16-win lead over the Cox barn. They are also leading all conditioners in earnings. 

Wilson’s first call rider Jose Guerrero leads all jockeys with 32 notches on his crop. Quite the haul in his first full meet in the Fair Grounds colony. 

The current leading owner with 10 wins is Brittlyn Stable, headed by Evelyn Benoit. Second is Wayne Davis with nine. Shane Wilson is the sole trainer for both owners.


Halfway through the meet, there has been one new Fair Grounds track record set. Going one mile on the Stall-Wilson turf course on Jan. 20 (“Road to the Derby Day”), the 5-year-old Chasing the Crown traveled the firm ground in 1:35.78 for trainer Mike Maker. In town to ride the Lecomte (G3) winner Track Phantom, Joel Rosario was in the irons for the Skipshot horse’s record-breaking run.


About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, one of the nation’s oldest racetracks, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, LA, Fair Grounds, which is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN), also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 16 off-track betting parlors throughout Southeast Louisiana. The 152nd Thoroughbred Racing Season–highlighted by the 111th running of the Louisiana Derby–will run from Nov. 17, 2023 through March 24, 2024. More information is available online at