Archive for August 2012

Chance Encounter Captures Thursday Feature

Chance EncounterOceanport, N.J. – Gary and Mary West’s Chance Encounter made a three wide move to the lead around the far turn before drawing off late in the lane to capture the $42,000 allowance/optional claiming feature at Monmouth Park on Thursday by three lengths. Click here to read original article. Ridden by Paco Lopez, Chance Encounter covered the six furlongs over a fast main track in 1:11 1/5 and returned $5.40, $2.60 and $2.60 as the 8-5 favorite in the field of seven fillies.  Angel Dreams completed the $28 exacta and paid $5.60 and $3.40.  It was another length and a quarter back to pacesetter Red Over Blue, who returned $2.80 to show. “She had a great trip,” said winning trainer Bret Calhoun.  “We got the trip we thought we’d get other than the horse being to her outside (Greatful Heir).  I think she’s still learning.  She’s got some heart and she’s got some talent.” Thursday’s win was the second in a row for Chance Encounter, who broke her maiden here on July 21.  The homebred daughter of Mass Media from the Dixie Union mare Metro Girl sports a record of 2-0-2 from five starts. Live racing continues at Monmouth Park on Friday, Aug. 24 – gates open 11:30 a.m., first post 12:45 p.m.

1,000 Wins for Jockey Paco Lopez

Jockey Paco LopezJockey Paco Lopez scored his 1,000th career win when he rode Whitey's Gold to victory for trainer Bobby DiBona in the second race at Monmouth Park Aug. 17 (VIDEO). "It is really exciting," said Lopez, 26, a Veracruz, Mexico native. "I've been riding for five years and am so happy to have this accomplishment. I hope to keep winning more races while getting to do what I love." Lopez won his first race at Calder Casino & Race Course on July 13, 2007, and went on to become that track's leading rider at its summer meet that year. He won the leading rider title at The Meadowlands in 2009 and was leading jockey at Gulfstream Park and Monmouth Park in 2010. The rider currently ranks second in the standings at Monmouth and has won 110 races overall in 2012. His six stakes wins at Monmouth with 22 days remaining in the meet equal his stakes total at the New Jersey track last year. Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/72142/1000-wins-for-jockey-paco-lopez#ixzz24JB167DH

Corinthian’s Jewel Captures Restoration Stakes

RA Hill Stable and Shirley K Stable’s Corinthian’s Jewel kicked clear through the lane to post a 1 ¼ length victory in the $60,000 Restoration Stakes at Monmouth Park on Sunday. Click here to read original article. Ridden by Paco Lopez, Corinthian’s Jewel covered the 1 1/8 miles distance over firm turf in 1:48 1/5 and returned $8.60, $4.20 and $2.80 as the 3-1 co-second choice in the field of six 3-year-olds. Unbroken completed the $43.40 exacta and paid $7.40 to place and $3.40 to show.  It was another 1 ¾ lengths back to even-money favorite Star Channel, who paid $2.10 to show.   “I asked him for his run at the three-eighths pole and he really took off,” said Lopez. “I saw Joe (Bravo, on Star Channel) beginning to put pressure on Crafty Unicorn and that’s when I went. This horse finished very strong today. He was impressive.” The win was the first stakes victory for Corinthian’s Jewel and his second straight in four career races. The winner’s share of the purse boosted the bankroll for the son of Corinthian out of the Mr. Greeley mare Rhumb Line to $72,600. “We always knew that he had some quality and his works leading up to this race were very good,” said winning trainer George Weaver. “I felt very confident that we would run really well. We just broke our maiden, so obviously you’re concerned when you’re running against seasoned horses. This horse was training like he could handle this assignment and he did it the way we wanted and we’re happy with him. Live racing continues at Monmouth Park on Thursday, August 23- gates open at 2:30 p.m. and first post is 4 pm.

Paco Lopez Scores 1,000th Career Win

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. Click here to read the original article. 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 I love.” 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 2012.

Lopez Nears 1000th Win

Paco LopezSitting at 998 career wins, jockey Paco Lopez is only two victories away from his 1000th winning milestone. Lopez pumped out two wins Saturday at Monmouth Park. "It's very exciting, and now I'm just waiting, waiting and waiting for it to happen. I hope it will be soon," said Lopez, a 26-year-old native of Veracruz, Mexico, who rode Quarter Horses in his native country before moving to South Florida to ride Thoroughbreds five years ago. Click here to read original article. Lopez looks forward to riding in the upcoming $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar on Aug. 26 aboard Where's Sterling before transferring to Parx for the $350,000 Turf Monster Handicap (gr. III) on Sept. 3 aboard Chamberlain Bridge. "Business is very good now," said Lopez, who won last year's Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes on Where's Sterling. "I've never ridden at Del Mar before and am really looking forward to it and riding that horse again. I'm also happy to stay on Chamberlain Bridge and he's a good horse, too."

Wildcat Creek Game Winner Of Thursday Feature

Wildcat CreekOceanport, N.J. – BNB Racing, Inc. and Rick Shanley’s Wildcat Creek made his turf debut a winning one, holding off all challengers to take the $44,000 allowance/optional claiming feature at Monmouth Park on Thursday afternoon. Click here to read original article. Trained by Eddie Plesa Jr. and ridden by Paco Lopez, Wildcat Creek covered the five furlongs over firm turf in :56.02 and paid $9.40, $4.40 and $2.60. It was a half-length back to A P Elvis, who completed the $34 exacta and paid $4 and $3.40.  It was another length back to Shmooz Talker, who paid $5 to show. A 3-year-old colt by Wildcat Heir from the Point Given mare Prettyatthetable, Wildcat Creek scored for the second time this season and third lifetime by taking the Thursday feature. Live racing continues at Monmouth Park on Friday, Aug. 10 – gates open 11:30 a.m., first post 12:45 p.m. 

Lopez eyeing win number 1,000

Nine hundred ninetJockey Paco Lopezy-eight...and counting. Jockey Paco Lopez is only two victories away from breaking the 1,000 career win milestone following a two-win day at Monmouth Park on Saturday. Click here to see original article. "It's very exciting, and now I'm just waiting, waiting and waiting for it to happen. I hope it will be soon," said Lopez, a 26-year-old native of Veracruz, Mexico, who rode Quarter Horses in his native country before moving to South Florida to ride Thoroughbreds five years ago. With 62 wins so far at the current Monmouth meet, he is second in the current standings behind Elvis Trujillo. Among those 62 victories are six stakes win for six different trainers. With 38 of the 56 stakes on the schedule run so far, Lopez has scored with Corporate Jungle in the $75,000 Elkwood Stakes for trainer Chad Brown; Pants on Fire in the $75,000 Skip Away Stakes for Kelly John Breen; Morrow Cove in the $75,000 Serena's Song Stakes for Todd Pletcher; Senator Beck in the $60,000 Desert Vixen Stakes for Tim Hills; Tune Me In in the Grade 3, $150,000 Oceanport Stakes for Bruce Alexander; and Chamberlain Bridge in the $60,000 My Frenchman Stakes for Bret Calhoun. Lopez is sticking with 2010 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner Chamberlain Bridge for the Grade 3, $350,000 Turf Monster Handicap at Parx on September 3, but first he's named to ride Where's Sterling in the Grade 1, $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on August 26. Both of those races are Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" affairs. "Business is very good now," said Lopez, who won last year's Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes on Where's Sterling. "I've never ridden at Del Mar before and am really looking forward to it and riding that horse again. I'm also happy to stay on Chamberlain Bridge and he's a good horse, too." Lopez was the leading rider at Monmouth and Gulfstream Park in 2010 and through August 10, he has 105 winners from 590 mounts who have earned $3,363,577. Last year he was 17th in the national jockey standings, and he is currently posting a 21 percent win percentage at Monmouth. Lopez's horses have finished in the money 52 percent of the time. Lopez is slated to ride in nine of the 12 races on Sunday's card.

Chamberlain Bridge Captures My Frenchman Stakes

ChamberlainBridge_MyFrenchmanStks_2_300xCarl Moore Management’s Chamberlain Bridge drew off  down the lane to post a 2 ½ length victory in the $60,000 My Frenchman Stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday. Ridden by Paco Lopez, the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner covered the about 5 ½ furlong distance over firm turf in 1:01 4/5 and returned $4.40, $3 and $2.60 as the 6-5 favorite in the field of nine. Ju Jitsu Jax completed the $36.60 exacta and paid $7 to place and $4 to show.  It was another half-length back to Just Chillin Boss, who paid $4.20 to show. Click here to read the original article. “I just let him break and got him in the clear,” said Lopez. “I kept him off the speed early and when we hit the quarter pole he took off for me. He could have taken over whenever he wanted. He was very impressive.” The win was the first in two starts this year for Chamberlain Bridge and the 19th in 44 career races. The winner’s share of the purse boosted the bankroll for the 8-year-old son of War Chant out of the Trempolino mare She’s Got Class to $1,809,135. “I thought he ran great,” said winning trainer Bret Calhoun. “That’s the kind of race we needed. He got a good trip. He left there good and got into good position early. He really likes to do most of his running turning for home. He was clear when he turned for home and just accelerated and won pretty easy.” Live racing continues at Monmouth Park on Sunday, August 5- gates open at 11:30 am and first post is 12:45 pm.  A Pick 5 carryover of more than $30,000 will await horseplayers beginning in Sunday’s sixth race.

Tune Me In Pays Pretty Penny in Oceanport

Tune Me In Pays Pretty Penny at Oceanport Tune Me In was sent off as the longest price in the $152,500 Oceanport (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park (VIDEO), but that didn't stop the 25-1 shot from springing an upset over six other turf contenders July 29. Read original article on BloodHorse.com here. Making his first start in graded stakes company off a seventh-place finish in a July 5 allowance event at Belmont Park and winless since Sept. 11 of last year, the 5-year-old Concorde's Tune gelding edged away to a half-length triumph in a final time of 1:43.39. Queen'splatekitten, the 13-10 favorite, ran second, while two-time Oceanport winner Get Serious finished a neck back in third. Jockey Paco Lopez took advantage of a slow pace scenario and relaxed his mount well while trading back and forth with Get Serious for the lead. Tune Me In went a quarter in :25.85, Get Serious poked a head in front for a half in :50.12 and three-quarters in 1:13.64. But Tune Me In would not go away, responding when asked in upper stretch to eke out an advantage, then holding off Queen'splatekitten's late run. "The pace was so slow so I just wanted to wait as long as possible," Lopez said. "I was very confident because the pace was so slow. At the quarter pole, I asked him and he finished strong." Tune Me In returned $53.60, $13.20, and $4.60. Queen'splatekitten paid $3.20 and $2.40, and was part of a $161 exacta. Get Serious paid $2.80. Admiral PerryMagnifi CatRoman Tiger, and Crepuscolo completed the order of finish. Glass Art scratched. Tune Me In improved his career record to 4-7-4 from 20 starts, with earnings of $289,845 for Patricia A. Generazio. He was bred in Florida by Joseph and Helen Barbazon and is out of the Court Trial mare Pleasant Courtney. "I knew no one wanted to go with Get Serious so we did," winning trainer Bruce Alexander remarked. "The whole race was won when they went :25 and then :50. He's a good horse and he showed it today. We'll find another stakes for him after this."

Tune Me In pulls a shocker in Oceanport Stakes

Paco LopezTune Me In, the longest price in the race, pulled off a 25-1 upset in the Grade 3, $152,500 Oceanport Stakes on the turf Sunday at Monmouth Park. In his usual fashion, Get Serious went right to the front, only to find the gray Tune Me In his constant companion. Click here to see the original article, includes a video. The pace was painfully slow, 25.85 seconds and 50.12 as they raced as a team. “I knew no one wanted to go with Get Serious, so we did,” Alexander said. “The whole race was won when they went in 25 and 50.” They were still inseparable throughout the stretch run, with Tune Me In finally gaining a narrow advantage in the final sixteenth of a mile on his way to a half-length win. Queen’splatekitten, the 13-10 favorite, rallied up the rail to edge Get Serious by a neck for the place spot. The victory snapped a six-race losing streak dating back to a second-level allowance race here last September. Tune Me In was seventh in his prior effort in a Belmont allowance race. The time was 1:43.39 for the 1 1/16 miles on the course rated firm. Tune Me In, a 5-year-old gelding ridden by Paco Lopez, paid $53.60 to win. Admiral Perry was fourth, followed by Magnifi Cat, Roman Tiger, and Crepuscolo. Photo Credit: Nikki Sherman

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