Paco Lopez
Jockey Bios

Paco Lopez

Born: October 18, 1985 in Tierra Blanca, Veracruz, Mexico

Record at Keeneland

Total Wins: 43

Stakes Wins: 2

Career Firsts

First Grade 1 Win: 2014 Woodward at Saratoga aboard Itsmyluckyday

First Stakes Win: 2008 GTOBA Juvenile Filly Turf Dash at Calder aboard My Sweet Natalieq

First Graded Stakes Win: 2009 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) with Smooth Air

First Career Win: July 13, 2007 at Calder aboard Anarkali

At Keeneland


During the 2017 Spring Meet, won the Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) on Dickinson and Ben Ali (G3) on Watershed.

Rode first Keeneland winner during the 2012 Fall Meet.

Won 12 races during the 2012 Fall Meet to rank fifth among the season’s winningest riders.

Career


Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey of 2008.

Breeders' Cup win: 2018 Sprint on Roy H.

North American career earnings exceed $85 million with 2,444 wins through Jan. 23, 2019.

Scored 2,000th career win on Dec. 4, 2016, aboard Yourdreamsormine at Gulfstream Park.

Click here for his Equibase career record.

 

Background


Paco (short for Pascacio) grew up in poverty in Mexico and left home at age 12 in 1997 to live with one of his three sisters (he also has two brothers). He was making $30 a week shining shoes and working at a car wash when a customer asked him if he wanted to work on a ranch. Paco began riding Quarter Horses a short time later. He started racing at bush tracks and soon became one of the top jockeys in nonpari-mutuel races, winning more than 5,000 unrecognized events. He once swept a weekend card of 13 consecutive races.

In 2006, Paco moved to Florida to further his goal of becoming a professional jockey. He worked on a ranch near West Palm Beach, Fla., and rode Quarter Horses in unsanctioned races. Paco began galloping horses at Palm Meadows and then at Calder, where he launched his North American riding career.