Chuck C. Lopez, a fixture at Monmouth Park since he started riding 32 years ago, scored the 4,000th winner of his career in the first race Saturday, July 2 when he piloted Duffy's Tavern to a gate-to-wire victory at the New Jersey racetrack..
The 50-year-old Lopez, who was the top apprentice at Monmouth in 1979, won the overall riding title at Monmouth in 1998.
“I just want to thank everyone who’s helped me over the years,” said Lopez after reaching the milestone. “My family, my agents, all the trainers and owners who have been so supportive, I thank you.”
The son of jockey Carlos Lopez Sr., Chuck C. Lopez won his first race aboard Foolish Tracy at the old Keystone track outside Philadelphia in 1979. He was leading apprentice at the Monmouth summer meet that year, and in the fall of 1979 won his first overall riding title at the Meadowlands meet with 80 wins.
He won his first graded stakes race aboard Mr. Impatience in the Lamplighter Handicap (gr. II) in 1994 at Monmouth.
Lopez has two sons who are carrying on the family tradition to the third generation. Erick Lopez is a journeyman, and David Lopez is riding as an apprentice.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Lopez lives in Morganville, N.J.