Every time Lourdes Lopez has been scheduled to race, Lopez has been scheduled to dance, so the ballerina has never been able to cheer her equine namesake to the finish line. In fact, Lopez has never seen a thoroughbred race in her life and has only once been to the trotters. But when Lourdes Lopez ran in an allowance race at Belmont on June 13, the ballerina managed to stop by an OTB office on her way to rehearsal. Rummaging through her purse in search of two singles, she could only find a $20 bill. So the nongambler decided to put it all down on a win ticket, and the next day the heads of OTB habitu�s spun as she glided up to the window to collect the $80 and change that her 3-1 namesake had won for her.
Lopez still wants to see Lourdes Lopez race someday, but the horse has proved to be a filly who likes to run on grass and who does best at longer distances, so there aren't many races from which to choose. An ideal contest was the Mt. Vernon at Belmont on July 26, 1� miles on the turf. It was a few days before that stakes race that the dancer visited the horse who shares her name and learned that the horse was showing signs of tendinitis and might have to be scratched from the Mt. Vernon. Now, tendinitis is something ballet dancers know a lot about. They get it all the time. In fact, Lopez had recently suffered a bout of jumper's knee, a problem not unlike the horse's ailment. The ballerina tried all the usual remedies: ice, massage, everything but total rest. Total rest was totally out; the dance must go on.
None of the remedies was working, though, and Lopez was in real pain and worried that she would miss some performances. Finally, Marika Molner, the City Ballet Company's physical therapist, suggested laser treatments. They worked, and within three, days the dancer had recovered, without missing a performance. When Lopez suggested that Landry might want to try similar therapy for his filly, the trainer couldn't believe what he was hearing. He had started Lourdes Lopez on the laser machine only two days before. It took four days for the horse to recover, and she made it to the Belmont starting gate, finishing out of the money, though sound.
Once again the ballerina was unable to see her namesake run. She was not dancing, but she did have an unbreakable appointment. At two in the afternoon of July 26, shortly before Lourdes Lopez came down the homestretch at Belmont, Lourdes Lopez the ballerina walked down the aisle at St. Clement's Roman Catholic church in Saratoga to marry attorney Lionel Saporta.