Archive for the ‘Jockey Paco Lopez’ Category.

Paco Lopez to Ride J J’S Lucky Train in the G1 Haskell

Exactly one year to the day after being claimed for $40,000, J J’s Lucky Train will be sent postward in the July 31 Resorts Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park.

Paco Lopez with J J'S Lucky Train in G1 Haskell (7-31-2011)

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Trained by Bill Anderson, the son of Silver Train was claimed for Fresh Start Stable out of his debut.

“Obviously he’s turned out to be a good buy,” Anderson said. “Right after we got him, I worked him on the turf and that almost turned out to be disastrous. The dogs were out pretty far and he jumped one of them and almost tossed his rider. Luckily nothing serious happened.”

J J’s Lucky Train went on to win at Monmouth, Philly Park, Laurel and then took the Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct on April 9. Since the Bay Shore score, he finished third in the Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (gr. III) at Churchill Downs and most recently second in the Woody Stephens (gr. II) at Belmont on June 11.

“He’s a very nice horse,” Anderson said. “His mother was a stakes winner on turf and I always thought he’d be a nice turf horse, but after that one work on turf I was reluctant.”

In his most recent work July 13, Anderson shipped J J from his Parx headquarters in Bensalem, Pa., to Monmouth for a spin around the grass course. He went the five furlongs in 1:03 4/5 with the dogs up.

“It was a real good work for him,” Anderson said. “We’ll probably ship him over here on Monday and he’ll likely work again on the turf Wednesday. He’ll train up to the race at Monmouth.”

From 10 lifetime starts, J J’s Lucky Train has a record of 5-3-1 and earnings of $329,214. He will have Paco Lopez, leading rider last year at Monmouth, aboard for the Haskell.

Romacaca wins Miss Liberty Stakes Paco Lopez Monmouth Park

“Romacaca” wins Miss Liberty Stakes with Paco Lopez(Paco wins four)@ Monmouth Park.

The trio of Zero Rate Policy, Flashpoint and Chipshot battled through quick fractions of :21 3/5 for the quarter and :44 2/5 for the half mile before Peachtree Stable’s Flashpoint assumed command and drew off in the lane to capture the $150,000 Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth Park on Sunday by seven lengths.

A striking gray colt by Pomeroy, Flashpoint stopped the timer in 1:08 3/5 for six furlongs over the muddy main track. The winner returned $3.60 and $3.20 and topped a $9.80 exacta. C J Russell, who sat off the early pacesetters, rallied to pay $3.20 to place. Chipshot finished third with Zero Rate Policy checking in fourth and last in the field of 3-year-olds that scratched down to a quartet.

“He broke sharp and was moving comfortably,” said winning jockey Cornelio Velasquez, who has been aboard in all five of the colt’s starts. “He had a ton of horse the whole way and was loaded with run when I called on him. He loves these distances, six and seven furlongs. He’s great at them.”

Trained by Wesley Ward, the Grade 3 Jersey Shore was Flashpoint’s first start since running in the Preakness Stakes on May 21. The $90,000 winner’s share of the purse boosted his lifetime bankroll to $255,200.

In the $75,000 Miss Liberty Stakes, Romacaca gained the lead nearing the top of the strait and held off the late charge of Champagnelifestyle to post a half-length win.

Romacaca stepped the mile and a sixteenth over a turf course rated “soft” in 1:42 1/5 and paid $8.60, $4.20 and $3.20. Champagnelifestyle rounded out the $70.40 exacta and returned $6.40 and $3.80. It was nearly another length back to post-time favorite Gypsy’s Warning, who paid $2.80 to show.

“The speed was going pretty quick up front so I just tried to keep her relaxed,” said winning jockey Paco Lopez. “As soon as we got a hole, she was ready to run through and she did it so easily. After that, she just kept rolling.”

Trained by Nick Canani, Romacaca has won her last four and now sports a lifetime mark of 11-4-2- from 22 starts. The 5-year-old mare by Running Stag has earned $478,092.

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Jockey Paco Lopez Wins Two Stakes Calder Race Course

Manicero solidified his status as the top 3-year-old sprinter in south Florida when he rallied to a three-quarter-length victory over Dual Exhauzt in Saturday’s $75,000 In Summation Stakes at Calder.

Manicero, a son of Mass Media, won for the sixth time in his last seven starts, his lone setback during that period coming in the Grade 2 Hutcheson last winter at Gulfstream Park. Manicero is trained by Leo Azpurua Jr. for his father, Leo Azpurua Sr. and was ridden to victory by Paco Lopez. The In Summation was the fifth stakes win of his career.

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“Prince Joshua” Rallies to Take the ‘Select Stakes’

OCEANPORT, N.J.- Rose Family Stable’s Prince Joshua sat off the pace early on before making a wide move around the turn and posting a length win in the $70,000 SELECT STAKES at Monmouth Park on Sunday.

Trained by Barry Rose, Prince Joshua covered the six furlongs over a fast main track in 109:3/5 and returned $9.20, $5 and $3.60. Bee Cee Cee rallied to complete the $103.40 exacta and paid $10.60 to place and $5.60 to show.

“We got a great trip off the early speed,” said winning jockey PACO LOPEZ. He has a solid kick to him and showed a nice turn of foot when I called on him.”

A 3-year-old gelding by First Tour from the Alydar mare Allendar, Prince Joshua has now won five of his 18 career starts. He has banked $163,879 for his connections.

Prince Joshua Paco Lopez

Coa Returns To Gulfstream Winner’s Circle For Trophy Presentation

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Eibar Coa returned to the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle on closing day Sunday to present fellow jockey Paco Lopez with a trophy to commemorate his second straight riding title.

It was an emotional and exciting return for Coa, who broke his C-4 vertebra in a racing spill on Feb. 18. Diagnosed by doctors as a quadriplegic after being admitted to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Coa made a recovery that was deemed “miraculous” by neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Berta. The 40-year-old veteran rider, who was released from the hospital on April 14, was able to walk into the winner’s circle Sunday for the trophy presentation as well as receive a check of $25,000 from a benefit golf tournament..

“It feels great. I feel like I have a second opportunity to just be alive. I went down doing what I love to do, so just coming back to the track made my day,” said Coa, who is continuing out-patient rehabilitation. “I’m glad I had the opportunity to come back before Gulfstream ends, because it’s one of the tracks I love the most. With all the support from my wife Rebeca, my family and friends, this is all I need.”

The sixth-race, the $750,000 Capital Request Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes, was designated as the trophy race to honor Lopez, and the defending riding champion fittingly rode the winner, Romacaca ($4.80). Lopez, who was involved in the spill on Feb. 18 and missed nearly a month of riding with various injuries, rode 83 winners, 18 more than former Gulfstream champion John Velazquez. Javier Castellano was third with 59 winners.

Coa and Paco Gulfstream Park

“It’s unbelievable with all the good riders here, to win the title,” Lopez said. “It was great to have Eibar here today.”

Todd Pletcher took down his eighth straight training title with 48 winners, 13 more than last winter when he saddled 35 winners. Highlights of Pletcher’s 2011 season include saddling E. Paul Robsham Stable’s R Heat Lightning for impressive victories in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) and Davona Dale (G3), as well as victories by Awesome Maria in the Rampart (G3) and Sabin (G3).

Pletcher finished 17 wins ahead of Nick Canani, his nearest rival who was followed by David Fawkes with 19.

Frank Calabrese topped the owners’ standings with 33 trip to the winner’s circle.

Recovering Coa Makes Gulfstream Appearance

Injured jockey Eibar Coa returned to the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle on closing day April 24 and presented Paco Lopez with a trophy to commemorate his second straight riding title.

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It was an emotional and exciting return for Coa, who broke his C-4 vertebra in a racing spill on Feb. 18. Diagnosed by doctors as a quadriplegic after being admitted to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Coa made a recovery that was deemed “miraculous” by neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Berta. The 40-year-old veteran rider, who was released from the hospital on April 14, was able to walk into the winner’s circle for the trophy presentation as well as receive a check of $25,000 from a benefit golf tournament.

“It feels great. I feel like I have a second opportunity to just be alive. I went down doing what I love to do, so just coming back to the track made my day,” said Coa, who is undergoing rehabilitation on an out-patient basis. “I’m glad I had the opportunity to come back before Gulfstream ends, because it’s one of the tracks I love the most. With all the support from my wife Rebeca, my family and friends, this is all I need.”

The sixth-race, the $75,000 Capital Request Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes, was designated as the trophy race to honor Lopez, and the defending riding champion rode rode the winner, Romacaca ($4.80). Lopez was alsoinvolved in the Feb. 18 spill and missed nearly a month of riding with various injuries. He won the title with 83 winners, 18 more than John Velazquez. Javier Castellano was third with 59 winners.

“It’s unbelievable with all the good riders here, to win the title,” Lopez said. “It was great to have Eibar here today.”

Todd Pletcher took his eighth straight training title with 48 winners, 13 more than last winter when he saddled 35 winners. Pletcher finished 17 wins ahead of Nick Canani, his nearest rival who was followed by David Fawkes with 19.

Frank Calabrese topped the owners’ standings with 33 trips to the winner’s circle.

Coa presents trophy to Gulfstream’s leading rider Lopez

Eibar Coa returned to the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle on closing day Sunday to present fellow jockey Paco Lopez with a trophy to commemorate his second straight riding title.

Click Here to read full story.

It was an emotional and exciting return for Coa, who broke his C-4 vertebra in a racing spill on February 18. Diagnosed by doctors as a quadriplegic after being admitted to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Coa made a recovery that was deemed “miraculous” by neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Berta.

The 40-year-old veteran rider, who was released from the hospital on April 14, was able to walk into the winner’s circle Sunday for the trophy presentation as well as receive a check of $25,000 from a benefit golf tournament.

“It feels great,” Coa said, who is continuing out-patient rehabilitation. “I feel like I have a second opportunity to just be alive. I went down doing what I love to do, so just coming back to the track made my day.

“I’m glad I had the opportunity to come back before Gulfstream ends, because it’s one of the tracks I love the most. With all the support from my wife Rebeca, my family and friends, this is all I need.”

Romacaca’s victory closes out season on high note for jockey Paco Lopez

Romacaca won the season’s final stakes race at Gulfstream, capping a strong year for jockey Paco Lopez and trainer Nick Canani.

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BY JIM FREER | MIAMI HERALD WRITER

Romacaca beat Trip for A.J. by 1¼ lengths in the $75,000 Capital Request Stakes on Sunday, the closing day of the racing season at Gulfstream Park.
Romacaca was forced to steady between rivals several times in the 11/16 mile turf race for fillies and mares.

In a photo provided by Gulfstream Park, Romacaca, right with jockey Paco Lopez, wins the eighth horse race of the day, Sunday, April 24, 2011, at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Trip For A. J, left,. was second with Cornelio Velasquez aboard. (AP Photo/Gulfstream Park)

She was fifth coming around the final turn but then weaved her way through traffic to gain her second win in two starts at the Gulfstream meet. She was timed in 1:44.50 under Paco Lopez.
Romacaca’s win ended a strong season for Lopez, her trainer Nick Canani and owner Frank Calabrese.
Lopez led Gulfstream jockeys in victories for the second season in a row. He rode 83 winners, followed by John Velazquez with 65.

Canani trained 31 winners, placing him second to Todd Pletcher who had 48. Pletcher now has led Gulfstream trainers in victories for eight consecutive seasons. Calabrese led owners with 33 wins.
Following the Capital Request, jockey Eibar Coa presented the championship trophy to Lopez.
Coa broke his C-4 vertebrae in a spill during a Gulfstream race on Feb. 18.

Doctors at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood originally diagnosed Coa as a quadriplegic. But following treatment, he was able to walk out of the hospital when he was released on April 14.
“I feel like I have had a second opportunity to just be alive,” said Coa, who is receiving out-patient rehabilitation. “I went down doing what I love to do. So just having the opportunity to come back to the track made my day.”

Gulfstream had three other $75,000 stakes on Sunday.

Stay Red won the Island Whirl, at 11/16 miles on turf for 3-year-olds and up.
Close it Out won the Shake You Down, at seven furlongs on dirt for 3-year-olds. Devilish Lady won the Cherokee Frolic, at seven furlongs on dirt for 3-year-old fillies.

Pletcher, Lopez set to repeat as Gulfstream meet champions

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – With four programs to go before the close of the 2011 Gulfstream Park racing season on Sunday, jockey Paco Lopez and trainer Todd Pletcher appear set to collect leading honors for the session, Lopez for the second consecutive season and Pletcher his eighth straight title here.

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Lopez leads the jockey standings with 75 victories, nine more than former Gulfstream champion John R. Velazquez second with 64 wins, although the latter moved on to Kentucky and New York after the Florida Derby (G1) on Sun., Apr. 3 except for one day. Javier Castellano ranks third with 59 tallies, Jose Lezcano fourth with 44 and Joe Bravo fifth at 43.

Pletcher holds a commanding lead on the trainers’ leader board with 48 victories, 20 more than closest rival Nick Canani second with 28 and three others tied for third with 18 apiece – Chad Brown, David Fawkes and Eddie Plesa, Jr.

Paco to Dominate In Gulfstream

From a handicapping perspective, the most significant development over the last month of the Gulfstream meet will be the imminent return of jockey Paco Lopez.

Lopez, the top jock at Gulf last year, and the leader this year until Feb. 18 when he sustained an elbow injury in the spill that sidelined Eibar Coa with a severe back injury, is due back next Wednesday.

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That would mean Lopez will be out exactly one month.

When he went down, Lopez held a commanding lead in the standings with 38 winners from 212 mounts. In his absence, he has dropped to third behind jockeys Castellano (42) and Velazquez (40).

The Florida-based trainers love Lopez, and Paco has a special affinity for Gulfstream. He is a master judge of pace at the Gulf. When the pace is slow, he’s sure to be on or near the lead. When the pace is fast, he’ll rate early, and come on late. The kid is absolutely fearless. And patient to no end.

Assuming he comes back healthy, look for him to dominate the last month of the meet…and then continue to thrive at Monmouth Park.

Otherwise, the best “value” riders at Gulfstream are Alan Garcia, Rajiv and Jose Lezcano.

And you need to include Joe Bravo in the gimmicks. Jersey Joe is enjoying his best Gulf meeting ever, and he shows no signs of slowing down.

Todd Pletcher, as usual, will be leading trainer. With 24 winners from his first 102 starters, he holds a commanding lead over Wes Ward and Nick Canani in the standings.

Wayne Catalano and Pete Walder are quietly having good meetings, and Ed Broome has caught fire in the last two weeks.

The outside posts are dominating sprint races. Nothing unusual there. And there is no post-position bias going long.

Gulf has always been a speed-favoring track, and this year is no exception.

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