OCEANPORT, N.J.- Jockey
Paco Lopez reached an important milestone at Monmouth Park
on Friday when he won the 1,000th race of his career.
Lopez booted home Whitey’s Gold
($3.20) in the first race for trainer Bobby DiBona and accepted congratulations
in a winner’s circle celebration afterward.
“It is really exciting,” said
Lopez, 26, a native of Veracruz, Mexico who began riding in the United States at 21 and was Monmouth Park’s
leading rider in 2010. “I’ve been riding for four years and am so happy to have
this accomplishment. I hope to keep winning more races while getting to do what
Lopez won his first race at Calder
Race Course on July 13, 2007 on the way to being that track’s leading rider at
its summer meet that year. He made the Jersey Shore
his summer and fall home for the first time in his career in 2009 and won the
leading rider title at The Meadowlands. In 2010, he won the title at Gulfstream Park before taking the Monmouth honors
with 113 victories.
Last season, he won six stakes
races at Monmouth
Park and this year he has
already won six stakes with 22 racing days remaining in the meet. He currently
ranks second in the standings at Monmouth and has won 110 races overall in