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OCEANPORT, NJ – It may be true that records are made to be broken, but jockey Paco Lopez keeps tying his own one at Monmouth Park.
Lopez matched the record he set twice in 2014 by winning 7 races on Saturday’s 14-race card, capping the performance with a 1/2-length victory aboard Vigilantes Way in the $100,000 Miss Liberty Stakes.
Lopez, well on his way to an eighth Monmouth Park riding title, won 5 consecutive races spanning the fifth through ninth races before matching his track record in the co-featured Miss Liberty Stakes aboard the heavily-favored Vigilantes Way.
Trained by Shug McGaughey, Vigilantes Way rebounded from a loss in the Diana (G1) in her last start. Prior to that she won the Eatontown Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park on June 20.
“I think I was very lucky today,” said Lopez, who won the Charles Town Oaks (G3) aboard R Adios Jersey on Friday night. “You look at these last couple of horses I won with and they handled the track. It’s a little wet both on the dirt and turf. I’m lucky this horse (Vigilantes Way) likes this grass course.
“When I looked at the horses I was riding today, I felt good. I felt quite a few had a shot. I am very grateful to do this again. I guess the next thing I have to get to is 8 wins here.”
Vigilantes Way covered the mile and 1/16 over a turf course listed as “good” in 1:43.14, having just enough to hold off the late-running Miss Teheran. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back in third to Counterparty Risk.
The victory was the sixth in 14 career starts for the 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, who was bred and is owned by the Phipps Stable. She is 2 for 2 on the Monmouth turf course.
“I was pleased with the way she ran,” said McGaughey. “It was a little bit different. She was stuck there for a minute but Paco Lopez worked out of it and we beat a nice filly who was second.
“I think she likes the quick turns. She does like Monmouth but the quick turns seem to suit her, because she has run good at Pimlico. She handles about any type of turf course. So when it rained a little it didn’t bother her. I think we’ll try her in the Violate Stakes (September 25 at Monmouth Park) next.”
Vigilantes Way returned $3.20 to win in the field of six fillies and mares 3 and up.
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