08/17/2012 2:01PM

Monmouth Park: Paco Lopez wins his 1,000th race

Paco Lopez, currently second in the Monmouth Park rider standings, won his 1,000th career race on Friday.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Paco Lopez scored his 1,000th win on Friday, guiding Whitey’s Gold, the 3-5 favorite, to the victory in the second race at Monmouth Park.

Many members of the Monmouth’s riding colony gathered in the winner’s circle to congratulate Lopez, 26, who rode Quarter Horses in Mexico before moving to south Florida to ride Thoroughbreds five years ago.

“It is really exciting,” Lopez said. “I am so happy to have this accomplishment. I hope to keep winning races while getting to do what I love.”

Lopez won his first race at Calder on July 13, 2007. He shifted to New Jersey in 2009, winning the Meadowlands title.

His breakout year was 2010, capturing the titles at Gulfstream Park and Monmouth.

Lopez is currently second in the Monmouth standings, trailing only Elvis Trujillo.