Oceanport, N.J. – Apprentice
rider David Lopez, son of Monmouth Park veteran rider Chuck C. Lopez, celebrated the
first win of his career Friday afternoon at Monmouth Park
by guiding 55-1 longshot I Did It His Way to victory in the day’s fourth race.
“It’s everything I thought it would be and more,” the
21-year-old David Lopez said. “I’ve been
waiting for this since I was a little kid – watching my dad and learning from
him. You never know, but I always hoped
it would happen this quickly.”
Despite heavy fog hampering the effectiveness of on-track
video cameras and the vision of track announcer Larry Collmus, Lopez appeared
to have his mount on the lead throughout the one-mile $10,000 maiden claiming
At the wire, Lopez and the 4-year-old son of Mongoose
finished two lengths ahead of runner-up Gambaru.
Following the winner’s circle presentation, Lopez was
greeted with buckets of ice water from his fellow fourth-race riders before
being doused with shaving cream, eggs and even more water back at the jock’s
That, of course, was followed by a hug from dad.
“I couldn’t be prouder of him,” Chuck C. Lopez said. “He’s paid his dues and waited a long time
for this. I’m just so proud.”
Friday’s fourth race was just the third start of David
Lopez’s career who is the latest member of the Lopez family – joining
grandfather Carlos Lopez Sr., uncle Carlos Lopez Jr., father Chuck C. Lopez,
and brother Erick Lopez – to reach the winner’s circle at Monmouth Park.