Jockey Paco Lopez, who missed two days of riding after a fall Dec. 2 at Gulfstream Park, returned to action in winning form by capturing three races Dec. 7, including his first two races back.
“It has been a little slow, but I’m lucky today,” said Lopez after winning the last race of the day.
Lopez was thrown when his mount, Tiznow Mytime, clipped heels and tripped on the Gulfstream backstretch. He was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital complaining of back pain.
The two-time Gulfstream riding champion (2009-10) sat out the Gulfstream cards Dec. 5 and 6 due to soreness. He put his bad luck behind him in his first race back, riding Cary Street ($5.20) to victory for trainer Lisa Lewis in the second race (VIDEO).
“I’m really happy to win my first race coming back from my fall on Sunday. I got hurt really bad; I thought it would be two, three weeks but the doctors said I was OK,” Lopez said. “I was really happy.”
Lopez came right back in the third race to ride 4-5 favorite Bull Dozer to an impressive win by two lengths, wearing down Abdel's Ghost in the stretch (VIDEO).
Bull Dozer ($3.60), trained by Luis Ramirez, received a dream stalking trip under Lopez, completing six furlongs in 1:09 in the co-featured optional claiming allowance.
“I rode him last time. My position was really bad and we finished too late,” said Lopez of a third-place finish in the Jack Dudley Sprint Handicap Nov. 10 at Calder Casino & Race Course. “Today I got a good position and he finished up strong. He’s a really good horse.”
Bull Dozer was claimed from owner Frank Calabrese by trainer Mike Maker for Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey for $62,500.
Lopez also rode the winner of the last race on the nine-race card, scoring aboard Jose Pinchin-trained Forget That Gal ($8) after a ground-saving trip (VIDEO). Pinchin co-owned the 2-year-old Cowtown Cat filly with Matthews Stable and Christian D. Maingot.
Forget That Gal was claimed for $35,000 by trainer James DiVito on behalf of Doubledown Stables.