UPDATED: Paco Lopez Off Mounts ‘Until Further Notice’ After Injuring Shoulder In Meadowlands Spill
Leading jockey Paco Lopez, coming off his eighth riding title at Monmouth Park, was taken by ambulance to Hackensack Medical Center for X-rays on his left shoulder after his mount in the third race, Voter Protection, broke down entering the first turn of the 1 1/16-mile turf race, according to the first aid staff at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J.
Voter Protection, the even-money favorite in the race, was at the back of the pack and clear of other horses at the time of the misstep that sent Lopez headlong into the turf. First Aid personnel said Lopez was “alert and oriented” but was complaining of left shoulder pain.
Lopez later told track personnel that his shoulder “popped out” but was not broken. He took off his final three mounts on the card.
According to the Equibase chart, Voter Protection was euthanized.
On Saturday morning, Cory Moran, agent for Lopez, posted the following on his Twitter account, indicating the rider was off all mounts until further notice. Lopez had been named on four mounts at Delaware Park on Saturday, two at Belmont Park on Sunday and 18 at Parx Racing on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
A 3-year-old More Than Ready gelding racing for Klaravich Stables Inc. and trained by Chad Brown, Voter Protection was making his seventh career start in the $25,000 maiden claiming race for 3-year-olds and up. He had raced for a claiming tag twice previously, most recently while finishing sixth in a six-furlong turf race for $50,000 maiden claimers at Belmont Park on Sept. 26.
Lopez is second leading jockey by wins in North America in 2021. His 281 wins are just nine behind Irad Ortiz Jr. Lopez is three wins shy of his most productive year in the saddle, and at nearly $10.6 million he is closing in on his best year from an earnings standpoint.