Paco Lopez

Fixed-Odds Era Begins at Monmouth

OCEANPORT, N.J.-With a steady stream of customers showing up at the fixed odds windows, Monmouth Park's bold experiment with a new form of wagering the track hopes will energize the sport began Sunday. Fixed-odds betting was supposed to begin a day earlier, but the opening day of the 2022 meet was canceled due to bad weather. Monmouth did not release figures regarding how much was wagered on the fixed-odds bets, which made it difficult to assess how successful it was on day one. Because the bets are only available at...

[ Read More ]
Lopez Suspended for Fountain of Youth Ride

Jockey Paco Lopez has been suspended 14 race days after Gulfstream Park stewards found him guilty of careless riding in Saturday's GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S., the track announced Wednesday. The jockey will be on probation through the remainder of the Championship Meet. Lopez was aboard eventual runner-up In Due Time (Not This Time) when the field of 3-year-olds bunched up on the far turn of the Fountain of Youth. In Due Time shifted out, which looked to cause High Oak (Gormley), under Junior Alvarado, to clip heels and...

[ Read More ]
TDN's Most Popular Stories of 2021

With 2021 now behind us--thankfully, some might say--it's time to look back at the TDN stories that were the mostly widely read during the year. Unfortunately, it's a list largely void of feel-good stories. That's not surprising during what was another tumultuous year for the sport, from the sad saga of Medina Spirit (Protonico) to the sentencing of drug cheat Jorge Navarro to five years in prison to the 11th-hour surprise that was the United States Anti-Doping Agency announcing that it would not be part of the Horseracing Integrity and...

[ Read More ]
Lopez, Joseph Jr. Crowd Claiming Crown Winner's Circle

Trainer Mike Maker racked up his series-leading 19th career Claiming Crown victory, conditioner Saffie Joseph Jr. won three of the stakes conducted under starter-allowance conditions, and jockey Paco Lopez won five races overall on the Saturday card to kick off the championship meet at Gulfstream Park. The Claiming Crown began in 1999 as a blue-collar version of the Breeders' Cup to reward primarily older horses who compete in the types of races that form the backbone of day-to-day American racing. But oddly enough, it was a lightly-raced 3-year-old homebred who...

[ Read More ]
Handle Up at Monmouth

Monmouth Park's 2021 season, which concluded Sunday, showed an increase in overall handle from 2020, with $173,511,161 wagered during the 55-day meet compared to $167,511,608 during last year's 44-day meet. On-track handle was $15,216,978 this year. Last season, which was hampered by attendance restrictions due to the pandemic, had on-track handle of $8,917,436. The simulcast handle was down slightly from $158,594,172 in 2020 to $158,294,183 this year. Jockey Paco Lopez took his eighth riding title at the Oceanport oval, while Wayne Potts was the leading trainer. Colts Neck Stables, with...

[ Read More ]
Jersey Joe No More, Bravo to Ride Permanently in California

When Joe Bravo decided to leave New Jersey because of new regulations banning the use of the whip, his future was unclear. Bravo, 49, needed a place to ride, but leaving the comfortable confines of Monmouth Park might be difficult. He had been riding at the Jersey Shore track since the late eighties and has been leading rider there 13 times. But rather than struggling outside of the Garden State, Bravo is having a meet to remember at his new home, Del Mar. With a week to go in the...

[ Read More ]
Monmouth Stewards Hold Hearing for Prat, Ruling Expected Sunday

Over a teleconference, the Monmouth Park stewards held a hearing with jockey Flavien Prat Thursday morning concerning his ride aboard Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) in the GI Haskell S. run July 17. The stewards called for a hearing after disqualifying Hot Rod Charlie from first place. In a tight finish, Hot Rod Charlie may have come over on Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow), who was in third at the time. Midnight Bourbon fell, tossing his jockey, Paco Lopez. Neither Lopez nor Midnight Bourbon was seriously injured. According to a Monmouth Park spokesman,...

[ Read More ]
Doug O'Neill Talks 'Questionable' Haskell DQ, Whip Rules On Writers' Room

Trainer Doug O'Neill experienced the agony and ecstasy of racing early Saturday evening at Monmouth Park, all in the span of less than 10 minutes. First, his star 3-year-old Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) won a hard-fought stretch battle in the GI Haskell S., which would have been the colt's first Grade I victory after a handful of near-misses. But quickly after the race, in which Hot Rod Charlie came in on Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) and the latter soon stumbled and lost rider Paco Lopez, the red inquiry sign lit...

[ Read More ]
NJ Commission Won't Commit to Request for Whip Rule Clarification

The accident and disqualification of the winner in last Saturday's GI Haskell S. at Monmouth Park has rocketed to the top of racing's recent controversies, chiefly because of the polarizing role that New Jersey's newly implemented anti-whipping role may or may not have played in the stretch-run spill. Since the start of the 2021 meet at Monmouth, whipping a Thoroughbred has been strictly prohibited, except for the express purpose of ensuring the immediate safety of the horse or rider. As three horses battled for the lead in the stretch...

[ Read More ]
Lopez to Join the Monmouth Riding Colony

Cory Moran, the agent for top Monmouth rider Paco Lopez, informed trainers Thursday by text that his client will begin riding at the meet June 5. Lopez's status had been up in the air as he was considering his options in the face of new rules instituted at Monmouth that ban whipping. Some riders have said they would not ride at Monmouth because they felt the whip ban created unsafe racing conditions. Lopez will not be riding at Monmouth this weekend, but that is because he has prior commitments to...

[ Read More ]
For Second Day of Meet, Monmouth Will Have Plenty of Jockeys, Horses

The Monmouth Park racing office appeared to have no problem attracting horses and jockeys for Saturday's card when entries were taken Thursday. A 12-race card attracted 107 entries and there are 22 jockeys named to ride. There had been concerns that the track would fall short in both categories because some of the top riders have decided to sit out the opening weekend at Monmouth because they are concerned about new rules that prohibit whipping in the races, with the only exception being instances when there are safety concerns. "We...

[ Read More ]
With Whip Ban in Place, Showdown Looms at Monmouth

With 10 days to go before opening day at Monmouth Park, preparations are being made to kick off the 53-day meet that begins May 28. Track officials are ready to go and so are the trainers and about 1,100 horses already stabled at the seaside track. But who will ride the horses? That question remained up in the air Tuesday. The New Jersey Racing Commission has passed regulations that will go into effect on opening day that will prevent jockeys from using their whips, except for cases when there are...

[ Read More ]

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.