Saturday, April 10, 2021
HALLANDALE BEACH - Paco Lopez notched his 3000th victory today at Gulfstream Park, reaching the career milestone via the disqualification of the first-place finisher in Race 2.
After notching No. 2,999 aboard Our Little Devil ($5.20) in Race 1, Lopez was awarded the 3,000th victory of his career by the stewards, who placed Heart of God ($6) first in Race 2 following the disqualification of the first-place finisher. The 35-year-old journeyman came right back to win Race 3 aboard Eamonn ($5.60) to make it 3,001.
“It’s exciting to make the milestone with my agent, Cory Moran, who was with me from the beginning. It’s also exciting to win my 3,000th race in South Florida, where I started,” Lopez said. “I won a lot of races in Mexico with the quarter horses, but to win 3,000 races in America with the best horses and the best jockeys, I’m feeling very lucky to be here.”
After riding quarter horses in his native Mexico from a young age, Lopez ventured to South Florida in 2006, riding his first winner on July 13, 2007 at Calder. He won 229 races and nearly $4 million in purse earnings on his way to winning the Eclipse Award as champion apprentice in his first full season in 2008.
Lopez won back-to-back Championship Meet riding titles at Gulfstream in 2010 and 2011. He also won the 2019 Gulfstream Park West crown and owns 11 riding championships in New Jersey, eight of them at Monmouth Park, where he spends the summer and early fall.
Lopez was joined in the winner’s circle for a special presentation by his wife Renata and two young sons. “I’m very excited and I thank God for my family and for the chance to ride in America,” he said.
comments powered by
Lopez has won 89 career graded stakes, eight of them Gr. 1's, including his first in the 2014 Whitney with South Florida-based Itsmyluckyday and the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Sprint aboard Roy H.