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Sunnyridge Sam Hands Lopez 3,000th Win

By

C.C. Lopez

C.C. Lopez wins 3000th

Adam Coglianese, NYRA Photos
Updated January 22, 2004
Jockey Chuckie "C.C." Lopez joined the 3,000- victory club Thursday afternoon at Aqueduct Racetrack, when he brought home Sunnyridge Sam up the rail for trainer Jason Servis in the seventh race. Sunnyridge Sam returned $7.80 to win. Lopez, a 43-year-old Brooklyn native, improved his career record to 3,000-2,611-2,448 from 20,182 mounts and earnings of $51,735,755. The victory did not come easy. Lopez had to make a decisive inside move to elude Laird Angus coming out of the turn in the six-furlong, inner track sprint.

"I was trying to get around Luzzi [Mike Luzzi, jockey of Laird Angus], but I couldn't get my horse outside and around," Lopez said. "There was enough room to try to inch up in there (on the rail), but then Mike looks over, sees me and drops down. My horse started to shy away and my boot scraped the fence. I got through, and as I went by, I said `Mike, I'm sorry I put you in that position.' It always looks bad for a guy to run through on the inside, but that was not was I was trying to do. I was trying to get around him. When he got through, he changed his leads and I wasn't going to worry about what anyone was saying. I was going to keep going."

"I can't tell you what it means to me," Lopez said. "I consider Aqueduct a home away from home. It was nice to do it here. I hope I can continue performing at this level."

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