06/24/2011 2:13PM

Monmouth: Apprentice wins his First


From the Monmouth Park Publicity Office:

         Apprentice rider David Lopez, son of Monmouth Park veteran rider Chuck C. Lopez, celebrated the first win of his career Friday afternoon at Monmouth Park by guiding 55-1 longshot I Did It His Way to victory in the day’s fourth race.
        “It’s everything I thought it would be and more,” the 21-year-old David Lopez said.  “I’ve been waiting for this since I was a little kid * watching my dad and learning from him.  You never know, but I always hoped it would happen this quickly.”
        Despite heavy fog hampering the effectiveness of on-track video cameras and the vision of track announcer Larry Collmus, Lopez appeared to have his mount on the lead throughout the one-mile $10,000 maiden claiming event.
        At the wire, Lopez and the 4-year-old son of Mongoose finished two lengths ahead of runner-up Gambaru.
        Following the winner’s circle presentation, Lopez was greeted with buckets of ice water from his fellow fourth-race riders before being doused with shaving cream, eggs and even more water back at the jock’s room. 
        That, of course, was followed by a hug from dad.
        “I couldn’t be prouder of him,” Chuck C. Lopez said.  “He’s paid his dues and waited a long time for this.  I’m just so proud.”
        Friday’s fourth race was just the third start of David Lopez’s career who is the latest member of the Lopez family -- joining grandfather Carlos Lopez Sr., uncle Carlos Lopez Jr., father Chuck C. Lopez, and brother Erick Lopez -- to reach the winner’s circle at Monmouth Park.