Paco Lopez Moves Track to Belmont

Paco Lopez, the Eclipse Award winning apprentice jockey of 2008, will move his tack to Belmont Park beginning Thursday, his agent, Cory Moran said. Since the end of the Gulfstream meet, Lopez has been splitting time between Belmont and Monmouth Park, but had been planning to ride regularly at Monmouth. However, after riding three winners here on May 6, Lopez attracted enough interest from several New York horsemen who also watched him ride with success at Gulfstream over the winter to convince him to try the Belmont meet. “We are having a good feel about it after speaking with horsemen in New York.” Moran said. We want to give it a try, at least up until Saratoga, and see where we’re at. When it comes to riding ability, Paco has competed with the same jockey colony all winter at Gulfstream Park and wasn’t too far from second leading rider.’ Lopez was the eighth-leading rider at Gulfstream, but missed significant time due to riding suspensions from his days at Calder. Lopez is the regular rider of Smooth Air, who finished second in Monday’s Metropolitan Handicap, and is expected to keep that mount.—-by David GreningDaily Racing Form