09/24/2014 12:40PM

Lopez hopes to continue hot streak with move to Keeneland

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Barbara D. Livingston
Paco Lopez, who has won on 120 mounts at Monmouth this summer, will hope to continue that hot streak when he rides at Keeneland's fall meeting.

Few jockeys have ever dominated a meet like Paco Lopez has at Monmouth Park this summer.

With two days left in the 57-day season, Lopez leads runner-up Gabriel Saez 120 to 54. Lopez’s mounts have earned over $3.3 million, more than double his nearest competitor.

Until this meet, no jockey had ever ridden more than six winners on a Monmouth Park card. Lopez rode seven – twice.

The previous record holders with six wins were Joe Bravo, Julie Krone, Chris Antley, Walter Blum, Eddie Castro, and Jose Lezcano. Good company, to say the least.

Lopez will be absent Saturday at Monmouth, as he will be at Belmont Park to ride Itsmyluckyday in the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap and Ribo Bobo in the Grade 1 Vosburgh. He will be on hand Sunday for closing day.

“I have had great opportunities,” Lopez said. “I have been on the right horses and have done my best to win with them.”

Lopez and his agent, Cory Moran, will head to Kentucky next week to ride the Keeneland meet, which begins Friday. They hope to stay in Kentucky through the Breeders’ Cup, then plan to return to their winter base at Gulfstream Park.

“We have some stakes mounts lined up at Keeneland, and we are going to stay and see if we can build up some business in Kentucky,” Moran said. “We both love the Keeneland meet.”

Lopez, 28, is from Veracruz, Mexico. He began riding in the U.S. in 2007 in Florida and started spending his summers in New Jersey in 2009. He previously won Monmouth titles in 2010 and 2013.

Lopez always has been an aggressive rider, but he has matured over the years and is much more polished than he was early in his career.

Lopez’s success this summer goes beyond his accomplishments at Monmouth. He went 4 for 7 in stakes at Saratoga and won his first Grade 1 on Itsmyluckyday in the Woodward. He also was second in the Grade 1 Whitney on Itsmyluckyday, who is trained by Eddie Plesa Jr.

Lopez’s other Saratoga stakes winners came on Stonetastic in the Grade 2 Prioress for trainer Kelly Breen; on R Free Roll in the Grade 2 Honorable for trainer Danny Gargan; and on Bern Identity in the $100,000 Tale of the Cat for Breen.

Joe Longo More than 1 year ago
I cant say enough about him. I have been going to Monmouth now for 20+ years, and while he does dominate the colony as of late, he is also a very nice guy. I am not an owner, just a fan who attends every weekend. When I have asked him for an autograph or a picture with my kids, he does it every time. He also gives them his goggles whenever they ask as well. He hasn't let his success go to his head, and I wish him all the best.
Bruce Epstein More than 1 year ago
This guy can ride!!
peter jaworski More than 1 year ago
Hope Paco gets ignored at Keeneland resulting in some generous parimutuels!!!