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News from Monmouth County, New Jersey

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    He was struck in Aberdeen late Monday night

    A man was hospitalized with injuries after being struck by a New Jersey Transit train in northern Monmouth County late Monday, authorities said. 

    A North Jersey Coast Line train traveling from New York Penn Station to Long Branch struck the man around 11:30 p.m. near the Cliffwood Avenue crossing in Aberdeen, a New Jersey Transit spokeswoman said Tuesday morning.

    These are the salaries of N.J. Transit execs, ranked from lowest to highest

    The man suffered arm, leg and pelvis injuries, the spokeswoman said. 

    The train, which had about 180 passengers and crew aboard, was briefly delayed.

    New Jersey Transit police are still investigating. 

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    Our weekly look at New Jersey's best alumni continues.


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    What went down in April? NJ.com has you covered with notes from around the state.


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    Our weekly look at New Jersey's best alumni continues.


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    Vicky L. Smith, 52, of Wall Township, has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly hitting a juvenile with her car in Wall Township on April 30, 2018.

    A woman was arrested and charged with attempted murder after she struck a juvenile with her vehicle in Wall Township on Monday, authorities said. 

    Vicky L. Smith, 52, of Wall Township, hit the juvenile with her car in the area of Central and First avenues at 7:38 p.m. Monday, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a news release.

    The child, whose name and age was not released, was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune. The juvenile was treated for minor injuries and released.

    Gramiccioni said the incident stemmed from an alleged earlier dispute between the juvenile and the Smith family. No other details about the dispute were released.

    Smith has also been charged with third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon.

    Chris Sheldon may be reached at csheldon@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    Richard Corbett leaves Roselle with two years left in his contract.

    The superintendent of Roselle's school district resigned Monday with two years left in his contract, becoming at least the third employee this year to separate from the district abruptly. 

    The Union County borough's school board unanimously accepted Dr. Richard R. Corbett's resignation, effective June 30, after a year and a half in the school district. 

    "Until my last day, ... I remain committed to the mission of this district: to prepare students for college, work and life," Corbett, 57, said in an emailed statement. "I also intend to facilitate a smooth transition to new leadership which will benefit our students and community. Over the next two months, these will be my priority."  

    The district now will create a committee made up of community leaders, administrators, teachers and students to search for a new chief administrator, the school board said in a news release. 

    Patricia Fabrizio, the board's president, said in the release that Corbett "arrived in Roselle during a time of great transition and he leaves us with a clearer picture on what we need to do to move forward and continue and grow our tradition of education excellence in Roselle." 

    Board Vice President Donna Eleazer said in the release that under Corbett's leadership, the district had increased graduation rates and standardized test scores while decreasing absenteeism. 

    Neither responded to requests for additional comment. 

    Not everyone had such positive words to share at the news of his departure.

    In a public Facebook post, board member Archange Antoine said Roselle needs "more administrators who will not be the puppet of elected officials." 

    Those have not been the only negative remarks regarding the superintendent. At a school board meeting in March, the president of the Roselle Education Association said teachers had worked without a contract since June, received their paychecks late, been denied overtime and faced "ineffective and tyrannical administrative leadership, including, but not limited to, the superintendent of schools," video of the meeting shows. 

    Corbett's departure marks the third high-profile one from the district over the last few months.

    Corbett on Jan. 30 removed the designated responsibilities of his business administrator, Jason Jones, and Jones's secretary, Jade Wilson, without explanation. He said in February that the district and "an outside agency" that he did not name would analyze the district's practices. 

    "There's always a review of practices," Corbett said. "You're always looking at what could have been done better. That's kind of standard operating procedure." 

    The school board voted in March to terminate Jones and Wilson, effective May 19, TAPintoRoselle reported. 

    Jones, who also serves on the Neptune school board, in February said he had been put on paid leave after beginning work with the school district in July. 

    "Right now, it's kind of messing up my life," he said. "The rumors get out faster than the truth, so everybody is calling me, asking me." 

    Jones and Wilson could not be reached Tuesday.  

    The school board in February hired the Bayonne-based accounting firm of Donohue, Gironda, Doria & Tomkins to perform an audit of the district, Union News Daily reported. 

    A call made to the firm Tuesday seeking information about the audit was not returned. 

    An agenda for a Feb. 26 school board meeting included a resolution to hire the firm for a forensic audit of "certain Board business and financial records." The resolution proposed a maximum of $25,000 of compensation for the firm's work. 

    Corbett, who formerly served as the superintendent in East Newark and Hardyston, took the helm in Roselle after the previous superintendent, Kevin West, left in late 2016 to head East Orange's schools.

    The board appointed Corbett to work as an interim superintendent beginning in December of 2016 and awarded him a three-year contract in July of 2017. He was earning $127,200 annually as of December, state data shows.

    Roselle's public schools educate roughly 2,845 students, three-quarters of whom are considered economically disadvantaged, according to state Department of Education data. About 86 percent of students graduate in four years, and 10.7 percent of students are chronically absent. 

    The district has an operating budget of almost $54 million for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year. 

    The school district recently has faced other challenges, as well. Plans for a $56 million community center with classrooms, intended to be a joint operation of the district and the borough, were quashed in December when a judge ruled a lawsuit filed against the controversial project could continue. 

    Mayor Christine Dansereau last month told TAPintoRoselle the center, called the "Mind and Body Complex," would not be built

    Marisa Iati may be reached at miati@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Iati or on Facebook here. Find NJ.com on Facebook

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

     

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    Who is the top team in NJ.com's latest rankings?


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    From a distance double to the shot put champion, New Jersey was well-represented at the 124th running of the Penn Relays.


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    Burglars used similar techniques to break into cars in Freehold Township, Howell and Wall in recent day

    Police in three neighboring Monmouth County towns are investigating whether at least 11 smash-and-grab car burglaries last weekend might be the work of a nationwide theft ring known as the Felony Lane Gang.

    Burglars hit five cars in Freehold Township, three in Wall and three more in Howell over the weekend, according to police in those towns. The thieves fled in a black Cadillac Escalade in the Freehold Township and Howell thefts, according to Howell police. 

    Police suspect the notorious Felony Lane Gang is responsible. Members of that crime ring are known to break windows of cars parked at gyms, pre-schools, youth sporting events and parks. They typically steal purses, money, photo identification and checkbooks left in sight.

    Gang members then cash the checks using the far-outside lanes of drive-through banks, where they can easily use a stolen identification card to do so, officials say. The gang is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, according to the FBI.

    Nationwide gang of burglars is back in N.J., cops say

    "All appear to be the same style of burglary and consistent with criminal activity associated with the Felony Lane Gang," Howell Detective Sgt. Christian Antunez said.

    Wall police expressed similar concerns.

    "We are working cooperatively with the Howell and Freehold Township police departments to try and determine if the motor vehicle burglaries are similar to the MO of the Felony Lane Gang," Wall police Capt. Greg Carpino said. 

    Officials in Freehold Township reported that a "very sophisticated group of thieves" broke the side windows and took pocketbooks and wallets from three cars parked near Field 3 at Michael J. Tighe Park on Saturday. Two cars in the back of the park were also burglarized, township officials said. 

    That same day in Wall, thieves smashed the windows on two cars on Baileys Corner Road and stole items, police said. Around that time, someone entered an unlocked car parked at the South Wall Little League complex on Atlantic Avenue and stole personal items.

    In Howell, there burglars broke the windows of three cars on Saturday between 2 and 4 p.m. Two cars parked at Howell South Little League complex on Allenwood Lakewood Road were hit as well as vehicle left in the lot of Gold's Gym on Route 9, according to police. The thieves stole handbags and purses from all three vehicles. 

    "There is a possibility the recent vehicle burglaries (in Howell) are related to the burglaries in Wall and possibly being orchestrated by the same group," Antunez said. "I can't say that definitively, but it's a strong possibility we're investigating."

    The recent thefts are patterned after similar crimes that took place in the winter.

    In February, Asbury Park police arrested an Arizona woman who tried tried to cash checks stolen from cars at banks up and down the Jersey Shore.

    A day earlier, Toms River police said they were looking for a woman who tried to cash checks at Ocean First Banks in Hammonton, Little Egg Harbor and the Mays Landing section of Hamilton as as well as two Manasquan Bank branches in Howell.

    The woman allegedly smashed windows and stole purses from cars at Riverwood Park in Toms River. Wall police also said at the time that a woman burglarized vehicles in multiple fitness center parking lots. 

    Weeks earlier, police in Burlington and Mercer counties said they were on the lookout for a group of transient thieves from the Felony Lane Gang. In 2016 and 2017. Felony Lane members were suspected in break-ins in Morris and Bergen counties.

    Police in Monmouth County continue to warn people to lock their cars and to remove valuables. 

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

     


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    Make your voice heard! Who is the state's best sophomore player?


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    The incident plays out like an action scene in a movie, but authorities say it actually happened in Colts Neck Sunday morning

    The crime plays out like an action scene in a movie.

    A man is driving a 2009 Mercedes Benz C350 on a stretch of highway in a rural suburb when another car speeds up beside him.

    Soon after, the Benz is riddled with gunfire, careens off the road and crashes into the guardrail. Detectives responding to the grisly scene recover between 10 and 15 9-millimeter bullet casings that spanned about a a half mile.

    The driver is killed by the gunfire, his death ruled homicidal violence.

    Except this isn't a movie script; It's what authorities say happened to 54-year-old Lloyd Earl Sanders, 54, of Neptune City, just before 2 a.m. on Sunday.

    He was known in the Asbury Park community as "Everlasting" -- the name emblazoned on a sign above the barbershop he's owned in the city since 1996.

    But, court records show, Sanders has had a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1987, including convictions for leading authorities on a high-speed chase through five Monmouth County towns in 2003.

    Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said detectives are investigating the shooting as a possible gang-related matter.

    A passenger in Sanders' car, whom authorities are only identifying as a 52-year-old passenger, suffered a gunshot wound but was treated and released from the hospital.

    Detectives are following leads on two different angles, Gramiccioni said.

    The first one is the possibility that the killing stems from an altercation Sanders was involved in at the barbershop earlier in the day on Saturday. The second theory is that either Sanders or his passenger had a dispute at a Freehold club the two were at prior to the shooting, and that they were gunned down on their way home from the club.

    "Everything is very fluid right now," Gramiccioni said. "At the same time, we believe based on what we know, we think this is an isolated act that related to some form of an altercation that happened before the shooting."

    The shooting happened in Colts Neck on Route 18, a busy but semi-rural thoroughfare that connects parts of Middlesex County to the Jersey Shore.

    For Sanders, Superior Court records show he had a string of felony convictions in New Jersey dating back to 1987, when a jury in Monmouth County found him guilty of robbery and conspiracy in a case that resulted in a 15-year state prison sentence.

    In 2002, he pleaded guilty to a charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact that led to a six-month jail sentence, records show. Just two years later, his guilty pleas to a number of theft and shoplifting charges resulted in a judge imposing a three-year prison term.

    In 2006, a jury convicted Sanders of charges that included resisting arrest. Authorities said Sanders stole a medical transport vehicle from Jersey Shore Medical Center and led officers on a chase during which he rammed at least one police car and drove the vehicle in the direction of a police officer, court records state.

    Superior Court Judge John A. Ricciardi imposed an aggregate sentence of 20 years in prison with eight years of parole ineligibility, records show.

    Sanders later appealed his conviction, but it was upheld by a state court. The date of his release from state custody was not immediately available Wednesday.

    Sanders' friend, Dwayne Love, told the Asbury Park Press that Sanders "made some mistakes in his life ... but he always came back real strong."

    "Not everybody could do that," he said. "That was his gift."

    NJ Advance Media attempted to reach family members of Sanders but was unable to speak to anyone as of Wednesday evening.  

    Authorities have not announced any suspects in the killing.

    They urge anyone with information to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office Detective Ryan Mahoney 1-800-533-7443 or Colts Neck Police Department Detective Rich Zarrillo 732-780-7323.

    Anonymous tips can be made through the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers, and awards are given for information that leads to the arrest or conviction of criminals and fugitives. 

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at tmoriarty@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriarty.

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at anapoliello@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    From opening bell to dismissal, and everything in between.

    I had the opportunity last summer to visit the schools from my youth. It was bittersweet as both St. Francis of Assisi School and Sacred Heart High School have closed.

    It was at St. Francis that I realized something I hadn't before; elementary school -- especially for those of us who attended grades 1 through 8 in the same building - is a long stretch for a kid to spend in one place.

    DSC_7242 - Copy.JPGFormerly St. Francis of Assisi School, the building is now home to the Compass Academy Charter School. 

    The building that was once home to St. Francis of Assisi School looked almost the same last summer as it did when I attended decades ago. Except for air conditioners and a new sign for the current occupants, a public charter school, it appeared virtually unchanged.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    But it also occurred to me just how much a child's life changed along the length of the single hallway inside that building.

    We entered as babies, really, first graders who were spending most of the day away from home for the very first time. We progressed up that hallway, and eventually left at the other end of the building as teenagers, only a few years short of adulthood.

    Eight of the most important years of our lives, measured in numbered doors alternating even and odd along an unchanging hall.

    Funny - so many times back then, I couldn't wait to get out; that day this past summer, I almost couldn't bring myself to leave.

    Here's a vintage gallery of schools, students and activities in New Jersey. And here are links to other school galleries you'll enjoy.

    Vintage photos of education in N.J.

    Vintage photos of N.J. schools and schoolchildren

    Vintage photos of going back to school in N.J.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at ghatala@starledger.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.


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    Thomas Tramaglini is on paid leave from his job in Kenilworth after he relieved himself in Holmdel, cops say

    UPDATE: Mystery pooper at N.J. high school's track turned out to be superintendent, cops say


    The Kenilworth schools superintendent has been placed on paid leave after being arrested Monday on charges of lewdness and public urination/defecation in Holmdel, according to school officials and public records. 

    thomas-tramaglini.jpgThomas Tramaglini 

    Thomas Tramaglini, who makes $147,504 a year as superintendent, also faces a charge of discarding and dumping of litter, according to the state's municipal court database. He was taken into custody at 5:45 a.m. 

    Court records don't indicate the location of the arrest in Holmdel or detail the circumstances that led to the charges. Tramaglini lives in Aberdeen, which borders Holmdel. He has a court appearance scheduled for 8:15 a.m. Monday in Holmdel municipal court.

    "As a result of pending municipal court charges, earlier this evening, Dr. Tramaglini requested and was granted a paid leave from the district," Kenilworth Board of Education Attorney Vito Gagliardi said Wednesday night.

    Leave can only be unpaid if a person is indicted or faces tenure charged, the district said, citing state law. 

    Gagliardi said the superintendent has not resigned but declined to comment further. 

    Director of Academics Brian Luciani will assume Tramaglini's responsibilities during his absence. Luciani previously has served as the principal of Brearley High School in Kenilworth and has a "superintendent certificate," according to Gagliardi.

    Tramaglini, 42, replaced Superintendent Scott Taylor who resigned in August 2015. Tramaglini previously served as Chief Academic Officer in Keansburg and also held positions in Plumsted and Freehold Borough.

    He is also a part-time lecturer for the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, according to public records. 

    Tramaglini and Holmdel police didn't return messages seeking comment. A Rutgers spokesman said the school will look into the allegations and offer a response. 

    NJ Advance Media staff writer Jeff Goldman contributed to this report. 

    Chris Sheldon may be reached at csheldon@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     
     

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    The 2018 Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown, will be run on Saturday, May 5, 2018 (5/5/18) at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Justify is the early favorite among the 20 3-year-old thoroughbreds expected to compete in the Grade 1 stakes race at a mile and a quarter. The purse is approximately $1.5 million. Always Dreaming was the 2017 winner.

    Horse racing. A gamble no matter what side of the track you're on.

    And maybe more so for the people in the inner circle, than those bettors outside of it.

    Horse owner Ron Lombardi, of Morris County, for example, did not start off on a winning streak.

    He bought his first race horse, Mr. Amore, for $30,000 in 2007, but the thoroughbred hit its head in a training accident and died. He never raced. Still, Lombardi named his stables in Ocala, Fla., after him.

    His second horse, Miss Sure Pockets, was purchased for $75,000 three months later, but developed a shin condition and never raced.

    Next came Snare, claimed for $10,000, but it broke a leg during a race and had to be put down.

    "I never thought about giving up," Lombardi said from behind the desk at the Cedar Knolls location of SportsCare Physical Therapy, a modern and elaborate gym for rehabilitation and strengthening. It's one of 70 he owns -- which explains why he never thought about giving up.

    "I told my trainer (Jason Servis) to find us a horse," Lombardi said.

    FirenzeLombardi_04282018_003.JPGRon Lombardi, owner of racehorse Firenze Fire that will run in the 2018 Kentucky Derby, at SportsCare Physical Therapy center in Cedar Knolls on Saturday. Lombardi owns the chain of SportsCare centers in New Jersey, New York, and Florida.  

    From that inauspicious and bad-luck beginning, Ron Lombardi now has beaten all the odds to have a horse in the Kentucky Derby.

    Firenze Fire, perhaps the longest-shot in the field, nonetheless has a place at the starting gate. After the bell goes off and the gates open, well, that's why they run the race.

    "There are 25,000 thoroughbreds born in the country every year, and only 20 make it to the Derby as 3 year olds," Lombardi said.

    MORE: Recent Mark Di Ionno columns 

    What makes Firenze Fire more of a Cinderella story is his lineage. His father was Poseidon's Warrior, bred as a pretty good sprinter over six furlongs, which is three-quarters of a mile. The Kentucky Derby is a mile and quarter.

    Lombardi paid a $4,000 stud fee to breed Poseidon's Warrior with My Every Wish, a mare he claimed for $16,000.

    She finished second in both her races.

    "Everybody said, 'Don't breed her.' And now her first foal is going to the Kentucky Derby," Lombardi said.

    And Lombardi is going, too, with just a $20,000 breeding investment.

    By contrast, Derby favorites, Justify and Mendelssohn, were bought as yearlings for $500,000 and $3 million, respectively, and were both sired by Scat Daddy, who went off at the third-best odds in the 2007 Kentucky Derby but was bumped and injured.

    Those are two of four horses sired by Scat Daddy in the Derby, making this running somewhat of a cousins' race.

    How Lombardi got from three star-crossed horses to a Derby entrant takes a little explaining, but his luck began to change with American Border, a filly he bought for $25,000 in 2008.

    She won her first Grade 3 race at Monmouth Park, but when it came time for the $100,000 Grade 1 Miss Liberty Stakes, even her trainer had his doubts.

    "Jason (Servis) said, 'Let's scratch her, she's in over her head,' " Lombardi recalled. "I said, 'Put her in, let's see what happens.' "

    She won. Career wise, she won nine of the 13 races she ran, mostly on turf.

    As Mr. Amore Stables grew, more winners came along. Tightend Touchdown had 11 firsts in 32 starts and earned more than $850,000. Ribo Bobo won $800,000 with 18 wins in 56 starts.

    But the big leap came in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont, a $500,000 race, when as an 11-1 longshot, Firenze Fire had a brilliant stretch run to win. He won the Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct in January and got the Derby bid, which comes with a $50,000 entry fee, just a few weeks ago.

    "We were on the bubble," said Lombardi, referring to a points system the Derby uses for bids. "But we got in."

    Asked if he thought the crowd of 100,000 would intimidate his horse, Lombardi said, "He's very mature. Nothing seems to upset him."

    Lombardi's love of racing goes back to his summers in Long Branch. In his grandparents' house just a few yards from the beach, uncles, aunts and cousins would fill the nine bedrooms, coming down from North Jersey.

    "We'd have to use three tables for dinner," said Lombardi, who grew up in South Orange.

    He remembers driving with his father and uncles to get racing newspapers, just as the bundles got thrown off the train at Asbury Park. And then it was off to Monmouth Park.

    "If anybody won, we'd have dinner at Marasco's," he said. "If nobody won, we'd have dinner at home."

    Lombardi left for Churchill Downs last Sunday night. Sixty-five family and friends will follow. He's hosting a party for them tomorrow night.

    "We were lucky," he said. "We found a place with a cancellation. Maybe somebody whose horse didn't get in."

    That party will be after another Lombardi horse, Vision Perfect, runs tomorrow at Churchill Downs.

    On Saturday, 17 people will be in the historic owner's box with him, where people such as  the Wright family of Lexington's Calumet Farms watched eight of their horses win the Kentucky Derby in 40s, 50s and 60s.

    Who knows? Saturday could be a first for the Lombardi family. 

    Not that it couldn't happen. Two 50-to-1 shots have won the race in the last 13 years. Mine That Bird in 2009, and Giacomo in 2005.

    No matter what, Lombardi will take the once-in-lifetime experience, even if it never happens twice.

    "For an owner, it's a dream come true," Lombardi said. "For me, it's something I thought would never happen."

    Mark Di Ionno may be reached at mdiionno@starledger.com. Follow The Star-Ledger on Twitter @StarLedger and find us on Facebook.

     

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    Which teams moved up? Which slipped down the list? Find out here.


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    Meryl Streep won't be able to make the induction ceremony for the New Jersey Hall of Fame because of a conflict in her production schedule for HBO's 'Big Little Lies.' She was supposed to be inducted back in 2008. Will it be another 10 years before she finally makes an appearance?


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    The Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday, May, 5, 2018 (5/5/18), at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, and Paco Lopez will be looking to post an upset aboard Firenze Fire in the 20-horse field in the Run for the Roses. Watch video

    Paco Lopez hails from Veracruz, Mexico, and spends about half the year living in Hollywood, Fla.

    But the 32-year-old jockey is quick to call the Jersey Shore home. After all, Monmouth Park is where Lopez has built his reputation as one of thoroughbred racing's winningest jockeys.

    Lopez will be in the spotlight Saturday evening when he pilots long-shot Firenze Fire -- owned by Ron Lombardi of Morris County -- in the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby.

    Not long after the conclusion of the first leg of the Triple Crown, Lopez will return to Monmouth Park to ride on a full-time basis this season. The Oceanport-based track opens its 2018 season Saturday, with a nine-race card program serving as a lead-in to the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby.

    Lopez is the favorite to win Monmouth Park's jockey championship this year after winning 26 races in limited mounts last summer. If he does so, it will mark his sixth jockey title after taking the crown in 2010 and from 2013-16.

    Lopez, who ranks 18th among North American jockeys in earnings ($2.7 million) this year thanks to his work at Gulfstream Park, has had 11,433 starts winning 2,259 races with his horses earning $78.5 million in his 11-year professional career.

    Kentucky Derby picks, betting tips, odds

    After riding quarter horses in his native Mexico, Lopez emigrated to the United States at age 21, winning his first race at Miami's Calder Race Course in 2007.

    Lopez made Monmouth Park his summer home in 2009 and won the Meadowlands' jockey title that same year.

    In 2010, Lopez joined the ranks of the leading riders in the sport by winning both the Gulfstream Park and Monmouth Park jockey titles.

    In 2015, Lopez compiled 75 wins from 302 starts at Monmouth, including eight stakes. And in 2016, Lopez won 105 of his 325 mounts, including 10 stakes races, en route to joining Joe Bravo as the only rider in the track's history to win five or more season titles.

    While he won't be at Monmouth Park when the 52-day schedule begins Saturday, Lopez will be looking to steer 50-1 Firenze Fire to victory out of the No. 1 post in his first Kentucky Derby.

    To do so, he will have to beat out a host of more seasoned jockeys with experience racing in the Run for the Roses.

    Only three jockeys -- Ronnie Franklin (Spectacular Bid, 1979), Stewart Elliot (Smarty Jones, 2004) and Mario Gutierrez (I'll Have Another, 2012) -- have won the Kentucky Derby in their first bid.

    Keith Sargeant may be reached at ksargeant@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @KSargeantNJ. Find NJ.com Rutgers Football on Facebook.


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    Thomas Tramaglini, who is suspended with pay from his job in Kenilworth is also charged in Holmdel with lewdness and littering.

    The Kenilworth school superintendent charged Monday with defecating in public was caught in the act at the Holmdel High School football field and track after surveillance was set up due to human feces being found "on a daily basis," police said.

    Thomas TramagliniThomas Tramaglini

    Thomas Tramaglini, 42, lives about 3 miles from Holmdel High School in neighboring Aberdeen. He was running at the track on the athletic fields at 5:50 a.m. before he was arrested.

    Track coaches and staff at Holmdel High School told the district's resource officer that they found human feces on or near the football field and track daily, Holmdel police said in a statement Thursday. 

    School employees began monitoring the area and on Monday police arrested Tramaglini at 5:50 a.m., according to Sgt. Theodore Sigismondi.

    Tramaglini is also charged with lewdness and littering. He is due in municipal court in Holmdel at 8:15 a.m. Monday to answer the charges. 

    Tramaglini has taken a paid leave of absence from his $147,504 a year job in Kenilworth. Leave can only be unpaid if a person is indicted or faces tenure charged, the district said, citing state law. 

    Tramaglini replaced Superintendent Scott Taylor who resigned in August 2015. Tramaglini previously served as Chief Academic Officer in Keansburg and also held positions in Plumsted and Freehold Borough.

    Tramaglini is also a part-time lecturer for the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, according to public records. A Rutgers spokesman didn't immediately comment on the charges. 

    No one answered the door at Tramaglini's home on Thursday. 

    'Mad Crapper!' Internet explodes over N.J. mystery pooper

    NJ Advance Media staff writer Jeff Goldman contributed to this report. 

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at anapoliello@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    An N.J. woman was jogging along Island Beach State Park when she stumbled across a sturgeon washed up 75 feet away from low tide.

    As Stephanie Hall took her weekly jog along Island Beach State Park Wednesday afternoon, she stumbled upon two unsuspecting creatures. 

    The first, a baby seal. 

    Not uncommon near the coastline of the Ocean County beach, but Hall chose to keep her distance from the sea mammal on her way back to the path near Beach House 1. 

    That's when she saw a creature she most certainly did not recognize. 

    "All of a sudden I saw the head of a fish but I thought it might have been an alligator or crocodile or something. It was quite scary," Hall said.

    What she found was most likely a sturgeon, a fish whose origin dates back to some 200 million years and can grow up to 14 feet in length and weigh up to 800 pounds, according to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration.

    She estimated the length of the dead sturgeon she found at Island Beach to be nearly 6 feet.

    Summer weatherA large sturgeon found on the beach at Island Beach State Park remained there on Thursday. 

    "It was amazing in person. I took some pictures and it was on my mind all day and all night, trying to figure out what that creature was," Hall said.

    The 48-year-old Ocean Gate resident posted the photos to her towns Facebook group and local members were able to help her identify the fish. 

    sturgeon(courtesy of Stephanie Hall) 

    Hall said she wouldn't have stumbled across the odd find if the seal hadn't altered her path.

    "It was maybe 75 feet from low tide, so you wouldn't see it unless you were walking that way. I almost missed it because of the sand dunes. But I would have never walked in that part of the beach if I weren't trying to avoid the seal. It was kind of weird how things played out," Hall said. 

    Hall plans on contacting the NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife to report the sturgeon, now that she knows exactly what it was she found.

    "One awesome siting turned into another," Hall said. 

    Summer weatherStephanie Hall found this sturgeon on the beach with summer like weather for a second day in a row at Island Beach State Park. 

    Alexis Johnson may be reached at ajohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @alexisjreports. Find nj.com on Facebook.


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    NJ Advance Media ranks each county by its alums playing college lacrosse.


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