Paco Lopez Wins 3,000th Thoroughbred Race

Paco LopezJockey Paco Lopez notched his 3,000th Thoroughbred win April 10 at Gulfstream Park, reaching the career milestone via the disqualification of the first-past-the-post finisher in the day’s second race.

After winning No. 2,999 aboard Our Little Devil ($5.20) in the opener, Lopez was awarded the 3,000th victory by the stewards, who placed Heart of God ($6) first in race 2. The 35-year-old journeyman then came right back to win race 3 aboard Eamonn ($5.60).

“It’s exciting to make the milestone with my agent Cory Moran, who was with me from the beginning. It’s also exciting to win my 3,000th race in South Florida, where I started,” Lopez said.

After riding quarter horses in his native Mexico from a young age, Lopez ventured to South Florida in 2006. Lopez rode his first winner on July 13, 2007, at Calder. He won 229 races and nearly $4 million in purse earnings on his way to winning the Eclipse Award as champion apprentice in his first full season in 2008.

Lopez, previously leading rider at Gulfstream Park West and multiple meets at Gulfstream Park and Monmouth Park, was joined in the winner’s circle for a presentation, joined by his wife Renata and two young sons.

The rider has won 89 career graded-stakes, topped by eight grade 1s, including the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) on Roy H .