Watch: The bond between O Besos' two riders
Jockey Marcelino Pedroza and exercise rider Magarito Fierro have more in common than the Greg Foley-trained Kentucky Derby contender O Besos.
The two riders have both been affected by cancer, and have shared in an emotional video with TwinSpires how being around horses guided them through tough times.
Pedroza’s mother lost her battle with brain cancer in 2019 at just 44 years old.
“She’s in a better place,” said Pedroza. “She told me, Papi, life continues. You gotta keep going, you got kids and a wife that depend on you.”
Pedroza took those on board and rode a winner at Indiana Grand on the very day that his mother passed away.
Fierro told TwinSpires that he credits being around horses as an important part of his recovery from surgery for Stage 2 colon cancer.
“After that, I never think I’d be able to gallop again, and I did. I still do it. I’m lucky to be alive. I’m very grateful, you know. I said, thanks God for giving me this second chance in life, because some people, they don’t get it.” said Fierro.
The riders are now channeling the strength that helped them overcome adversity to focus on winning the Kentucky Derby with O Besos.
“My plan is to be in the Derby, and to win it,” said Pedroza.