Paco Lopez Rides Winner No. 2,000
Photo: Courtesy of Gulfstream Park
Paco Lopez celebrates his 2,000th career victory

Jockey Paco Lopez registered his 2,000th victory aboard Yourdreamsormine in the ninth race Dec. 4 at Gulfstream Park.

Lopez, 31, entered the card with 1,999 wins, after he was blanked from seven mounts Dec. 3. He rode five losers Sunday before reaching the winner's circle on the Milton Wolfson-trained Yourdreamsormine, who is owned by N. T. S. Stable.

After receiving a warm reception from his fellow riders, who gathered around him for a celebratory photograph, Lopez admitted he was relieved to have finally reached the milestone after some frustrating moments.

"I tried it yesterday—I had some favorites—and I tried today, and I finally did it," a beaming Lopez said.

His victory aboard Yourdreamsormine was Lopez's 243rd of the 2016 season, during which his mounts have earned more than $9 million in purses.
 
Lopez was the leading apprentice at Gulfstream Park in 2008, a year after arriving in the U.S. to ride in South Florida, and went on to be honored with an Eclipse Award as the nation's leading apprentice. He won the Gulfstream Championship Meet title in 2010.

Lopez was born on a farm in Veracruz, Mexico and began riding Quarter Horses after leaving home at the age of 12. He ventured to the U.S. nine years later in hopes of becoming a Quarter Horse jockey. A year later, he began to exercise Thoroughbreds at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream's satellite training center in Palm Beach County, and won his first race in the U.S. July 13, 2007 at Calder Race Course, where he captured several riding titles.

Lopez, who thanked his longtime agent Cory Moran, said it was meaningful for him to win his 2,000th for the South Florida-based Wolfson.

"I feel great about winning it for people from Miami," the rider said. "I try for everybody but I feel they are my people because I got my start in Miami."

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