09/15/2017 12:56PM

Bronchitis can't keep Pedroza out of winner's circle

Shigeki Kikkawa
Jockey Martin Pedroza

CYPRESS, Calif. – Jockey Martin Pedroza was walking toward the jockeys’ room after his 100th career win at Los Alamitos on Thursday when he spotted a trainer friend along the paddock rail.

“I think I’m more tired than the horse,” Pedroza said.

The 52-year-old rider had a good excuse for being tired. Pedroza said he has been battling bronchitis while continuing to ride.

“I feel good even though I’m sick,” he said.

His sense of humor was intact, too.

“I had to ask the outrider to pull me up,” Pedroza said.

Pedroza’s win on El Super ($13) in a starter allowance at a mile made him the first jockey to win 100 races at county fair or daytime Thoroughbred meetings at Los Alamitos. The statistics do not include results from the mixed programs run at night at Los Alamitos on a year-round basis.

Pedroza has a history at Los Alamitos dating to a riding title at the 1983 Orange County Fair meeting. The Orange County Fair meetings, which ended in 1991, were run at night in late summer following Del Mar’s daytime programs.

Pedroza was part of a small group of jockeys who rode both programs several days a week.

“We came in the limo from Del Mar,” Pedroza recalled on Thursday.

Pedroza was a legend at the Los Angeles County Fair meeting at Fairplex Park in Pomona, winning 730 races and 15 riding titles. For Pedroza, that meeting was the highlight of his year.

The Fairplex Park meetings were discontinued after 2013. Since then, the Los Angeles County Fair racing dates have been run at Los Alamitos each September, even though the two venues are about 30 miles apart.