Indiana Grand Racing & Casino Press Release
Team USA kept its streak alive Saturday, June 23 by winning the third consecutive title in the fifth annual World Jockey Challenge at Indiana Grand. The event was represented by seven different countries with jockeys teaming up for their homeland to accumulate points. Team USA compiled 43 points over Team Mexico’s 24 to win the title.
Team Mexico jumped out to an early lead with a win by Jesus Castanon in the evening’s first race of 11 on the card. Castanon returned in the second race to finish third for a total of eight points with Panama getting a boost by Marcelino Pedroza with a win in the evening’s second race. DeShawn Parker of the United States won his first of two on the card in race three to get Team USA on the board, with Mexico still leading the way into race four. Santo Sanjur was a winner in the evening’s fourth race to catapult Team Panama into the lead.
Andres Ulloa, a new addition to the jockey colony this season at Indiana Grand, brought home a mild upset in the fifth race to put Chile in the standings before Parker won his second of the night in the sixth race to place Team USA on top for the first time in the competition. It was the last lead change as Team USA completed the evening with two more wins from Berkley Packer and Shanley Jackson in Quarter Horse action to seal the win. Other winners late in the card included Fernando De La Cruz of Peru, Sammy Bermudez of Panama and Gabriel Lagunes of Mexico.
In all, six of the seven countries represented won races during the night, and all seven countries accumulated at least five points or more. Several of the countries were only represented by one or two jockeys, including Chile. Ulloa single handedly picked up 11 points for Team Chile to finish in fifth place. The strong team of Santo Sanjur, Marcelino Pedroza and Oriel Chavez also battled gamely during the night to finish in third place with 17 points. The rest of the field included Teams Peru with 12 points, Chile with 11 points, Venezuela with eight points and Puerto Rico with five points.
All seven countries were introduced following the evening’s fourth race in a parade of flags. Jockeys carried the flag from each of their countries as members of their team were introduced. A total of 32 jockeys were in the competition for the World Jockey Challenge. Team members for their respective countries included; (Team USA) Cheyanna Patrick, Alex Canchari, Rodney Prescott, DeShawn Parker, Shanley Jackson, Berkley Packer; (Team Mexico) Jesus Castanon, Leonel Bolanos, Rolando Aragon, Eddie Perez, Gabriel Lagunes, Luz D. Martinez, Giovani Vazquez-Gomez, Gerardo Garrido, Cesar Esqueda, Rogelio Romero Diaz, Fernando Morin, Fernando Fonseca-Soto; (Team Peru) Alberto Pusac, Jose Riquelme, Fernando De La Cruz, Ronald Hisby; (Team Chile) Andres Ulloa; (Team Panama) Marcelino Pedroza, Santo Sanjur, Oriel Chavez; (Team Puerto Rico) Sammy Bermudez, Juan Rosa, Edgar Morales; and (Team Venezuela) Richard Bracho, Sonny Leon, Gregory Romero.
In addition to the fifth annual World Jockey Challenge, International Fest provided several activities in the grandstand, including interactive games, strolling entertainment and options for younger racing fans including face painting and a bounce house.