Jockey Paco Lopez made an early return to South Florida Thursday, riding three horses on Thursday's twilight program at Gulfstream Park.
“I'm excited to be home. This is my home,” Lopez said. “I decided to come a little early instead of riding in Kentucky and New York.”
The 32-year-old Mexico native, who has won numerous titles since he ventured to South Florida, most recently finished second in the jockey standings at Monmouth Park with 71 winners.
Lopez, who rode in Kentucky last fall, was based at Aqueduct full time last winter for the first time while winning 12 of 65 races during visits to Gulfstream for stakes mounts.
“I want to get ready for the Championship Meet. I'll be riding at the Gulfstream (Park) West meet,” Lopez said. “We're looking forward to the Championship Meet, that's why we're here.”
Lopez won the Championship Meet title in 2010 and is only one of only four jockeys to win 100 or more races during the premier Gulfstream meet.
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