Mario Pino was born on September 8, 1961, in West Grove, Pennsylvania. He won his first race on January 16, 1979, at the now defunct Bowie Race Course aboard Ed's Desire. He won his first Grade 1 in 2006 on Wildcat Bettie B. in the Prioress Stakes at Belmont Park. He came to national attention in 2007 as the jockey for Kentucky Derby runner-up Hard Spun, who he also guided to a 2nd place finish in the 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic. 2007 was his first time to ride in both the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders' Cup.
Big Fish in a Maryland Pond:
Pino has been based in Maryland throughout his 29 year career. He is the all-time leader in wins at Maryland tracks with more then 30 graded stakes wins and earnings of over $100 million. He is currently 15th in the all-time win list, but is third among active riders now with 6000 wins and counting.
Pino has never won fewer than 141 races in a year and topped 200 wins in a year on twelve occasions, with the most being 297 in 2001. On July 7, 2002, Mario Pino won seven races on a single day at Colonial Downs in New Kent, VA, and on October 25, 2003 had a six-win day at Laurel Park in Laurel, MD.
Pino is married to wife Christina and has three daughters: Danielle, Victoria, and Evana. Although he had the opportunity to leave Maryland for bigger circuits, his wife wanted to raise their children in Maryland so they wouldn't have to move around.