Paco Lopez has had his 60-day suspension for “continuous careless riding” reduced to 30 racing days. Jeffrey Noe and Don Brumfield, the Gulfstream Park stewards who issued the original suspension, said the reduction was made by track management.
In exchange for the reduction in the length of the suspension, Daily Racing Form reports that Lopez has agreed to make a $10,000 donation to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and do volunteer service at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at South Florida's Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Lopez was suspended for his ride aboard Itsmyluckycharm in the 11th race on April 14 at the Hallandale Beach, Fla., track. Turning into the stretch of the 7 1/2-furlong turf race, Lopez was caught in traffic and forced his way out, bumping and impeding several horses. Itsmyluckycharm was disqualified from first and placed 10th for interference.
Earlier this year, Lopez received a 30-day ban for his role in a Jan. 31 spill that injured two riders, Romero Maragh and Carlos Montalvo. Maragh underwent spinal surgery as a result of the Jan. 31 incident and Montalvo suffered an ankle fracture. Both jockeys remain sidelined.
Currently leading rider for Gulfstream's spring meet, Lopez will begin his suspension on Saturday April 27. His agent, Cory Moran, told Daily Racing Form that Lopez will move his tack to Monmouth Park when the suspension ends June 15.
Correction: The decision to reduce the Paco Lopez suspension was not made by Gulfstream Park stewards, as originally reported, but by track management.
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