Jockey Lopez Gets 1,000th U.S. Win Aboard Sourdough Sam In Oakland Stakes

Jockey Lopez Gets 1,000th U.S. Win Aboard Sourdough Sam In Oakland Stakes

     Jockey David Lopez recorded his 1,000th victory in the U.S. in dramatic fashion Saturday when he rallied Sourdough Sam from last to first in the $65,280 Oakland Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.

     Sourdough Sam, a stretch-running son of Decarchy, mowed down 4-to-5 favorite Shudacudawudya in the final yards to win the six-furlong Oakland by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:09.68.  Starboardlights, who contested a hot early pace with Tribesman, hung on for third in a good effort.

     Sourdough Sam was dismissed in the wagering at 9-to-1 and paid $20.20 after earning his fifth victory in nine career starts.  Sourdough Sam is trained by Dean Pederson and owned by John Nicoletti.

     “I’m very excited to get my 1,000th in this race,” said Lopez.  “The trainer told me to be patient with him.  He broke a little slow and I knew we were far back but I didn’t panic.  I knew I was on a good horse and when I took him out in the clear he did his thing.”

     Shudacudawudya, who was coming off a very impressive four-length victory in a six-furlong sprint at Golden Gate Fields on Sept. 25, ran another big race Saturday under jockey Francisco Duran.

     “I had the perfect trip,” said Duran, who had Shudacudawudya in stalking position behind the dueling leaders early and then made the lead with the favorite in midstretch.  “I swung him out when it was time to go and then waited as long as I could before asking him.  He responded when I asked him and hung in there the best he could.  I’m proud of him.”

     Sourdough Sam, who was coming off three unsuccessful starts in Southern California, again showed his fondness for Golden Gate Fields, where he has four wins and a second in five starts.  Sourdough Sam earned $39,400 for the Oakland victory and has made $168,400 in his nine races.  

    Lopez, a 30-year-old native of Peru, actually reached 1,000 victories a long time ago as he won nearly 500 races in his homeland before coming to America in 2001.  He rode at Calder Race Course in Florida for eight months and then headed west, riding briefly at Santa Anita in Southern California and Turf Paradise in Arizona before settling in Northern California in 2002.

    Lopez has been a mainstay in the Bay Area jockey colony.  He was the second-leading rider at the 2005 spring meeting at Golden Gate Fields and finished third in the jockey standings at three other major Northern California meetings – 2005 fall meeting at Golden Gate Fields, 2005 fall meeting at Bay Meadows, and 2006 spring meeting at Bay Meadows.

     Lopez has won several stakes races in Northern California, including the 2007 California Derby with Bwana Bull and the Grade 3 $150,000 Berkeley Stakes with Autism Awareness in 2009.  Autism Awareness paid $62.80 after winning by a head.
Lopez was also the regular rider of Wild Promises, a filly he guided to four stakes victories in 2008.  

     Racing continues at Golden Gate Fields Sunday with a Dollar Day NFL Sunday program.  General parking, general admission, programs, beers, hot dogs and sodas cost just a buck apiece and fans can watch all the football games via the NFL Sunday Ticket broadcast package.  Gates open at 10 a.m. and post time is 12:45 p.m.