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.