Archive for the ‘Jockey Joe Bravo’ Category.

Princess Grace returns from eight-month layoff to win the Grade 3 Penny Memorial

Princess Grace got her 4-year-old season off to a rousing start Tuesday when she battled Madita for a neck win in the Grade 3, $200,000 Dr. James Penny Memorial at Parx Racing. It was another two lengths back in third to Platinum Paynter.

The Penny Memorial was a mile and a sixteenth turf race for fillies and mares. There were four scratches: Honey Cake, Quiet Company, Secret Time, and Sunset Kisses.

Princess Grace ($4) was making her first start since last November, when she won the off-the-turf Mrs. Revere, a Grade 2 at Churchill Downs. She was content to settle in fourth on Tuesday, as Glamorous Thunder jumped out to a clear lead and took the field through fractions of 23.22 seconds for the opening quarter, 47.67 for the half-mile, and 1:11.63 for six furlongs.

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Princess Grace rode the rail, was angled just off the fence into the stretch, and after coming between rivals pushed past a stubborn Madita in a lively battle. The winner covered the distance on firm ground in a strong 1:41.18.

Joe Bravo was aboard Princess Grace for trainer Michael Stidham.

M and M Stable owns Princess Grace, who was winning the second stakes of her career. She is now 4 for 5 in her career and 3 for 4 on the grass. Princess Grace picked up $115,200 for the win Tuesday to improve her career earnings to $320,460. She is a daughter of Karakontie. ​

Yes This Time Sneaks Up On Like The King To Take Kent Stakes

Riding the rail under Joe Bravo, Yes This Time went from last on the final turn to first in the final furlong of the 1 1/8-mile Grade 3 Kent Stakes at Delaware Park in Wilmington, Del. The soft turf and a stubborn front running Like the King were no trouble for the son of Not This Time, who earns his fifth win of six starts in 2021.

After an even start, Like the King took an easy length-and-a-half lead over Be Here and Eamonn, with Wootton Asset in fourth. The pace was slow, Like the King cruising through fractions of :25.63 for the first quarter and :51.21 for the first half. He maintained that easy lead, controlling the pace through the first mile. Into the stretch, Like the King held on to the lead, unwilling to give it up as Bravo and Yes This Time snuck up on the rail to challenge. Like the King tried to hold on, but Yest This Time was able to pass him in the final strides to win by a length in a slow 1:52.39 on soft turf.

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Wootton Asset, Doubleoseven, Eamonn, and Be Here rounded out the field of six in the G3 Kent Stakes.

“I was concerned about the pace,” said winning trainer Kelly Breen. “Honestly, the leader (Like the King) got out there and went a half in :51 and three-quarters in 1:16 and two races before, they did not go that slow. I was concerned about being towards the back early, but the rail opened up and he came running. We are schooling him for the Kentucky Downs race (Dueling Grounds Derby – Sept 5) by getting him used to going up and down the hills and being able to rate. He is a pretty neat horse with a lot of guts. He is a nice horse to train and he is pretty cool. Other than his first race, everything has been basically win pictures. He is a pretty nice horse.”

Yes This Time paid $4.20, $2.60, and $2.10. Like the King paid $3.80 and $2.60. Third-place Wootton Asset paid $3.40 to show.

Yes This Time is a 3-year-old colt from the first crop of Taylor Made stallion Not This Time. Bred by Barry Golden, he is out of the Smart Strike mare Smart Jilly. He is owned by Edge Racing and trained by Kelly Breen. His win in the Kent Stakes marks his sixth win in eight lifetime starts for earnings of $201,825.


Joe Bravo made the most of his travels last week. With mounts at Delaware Park, Belmont and Pimlico, he won two stakes races to earn Jockey of the Week for June 7 through June 13.

The award, which is voted on by a panel of racing experts, is for jockeys who are members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 active riders in the United States as well as retired and permanently disabled jockeys.

On Wednesday, Bravo journeyed to Delaware Park for the Obeah Stakes reuniting with the 4-year-old Dream Marie trained by Matthew Williams. Taken back early in the field of seven fillies and mares three years-old and up, Bravo eased Dream Marie outside and advanced five wide at the half mile marker kicking clear in the final sixteenth to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:44.40 over a sloppy track, returning $19.40.

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“She really likes this course,” said Bravo. “The last time she was on this course she was a very game second a heart-beat from winning. Today, as I was expecting, when she turned for home, she really kicked off nicely.”

After riding at Belmont Park Thursday and Saturday, Bravo travelled to Pimlico Race Course on Sunday for the call on Pixelate in the Prince George’s County for three-year-olds and up going 1-1/8 miles for trainer Michael Stidham. In a field of 11, Bravo rated Pixelate in fifth along the rail outside Alwaysmining. Entering the stretch, Pixelate drove past a tiring Alwaysmining and Logical Myth to win by a length in 1:53.56.

“He was really strong on the first turn,” Bravo said. When we got down the backside he started breathing underneath me and I knew he was comfortable. Turning for home I had to get him outside. Stidham did all the hard work and got him really ready. I want to say thanks to Godolphin.”

When asked if he was told anything before riding Pixelate for the first time, Bravo replied, “Don’t get beat, jock.”

Bravo will be heading west to ride at Santa Anita closing weekend and intends to ride at Del Mar when their meet starts July 16.

Weekly statistics for Bravo were 6-3-1-0 and total purse earnings of $179,880.

For Jockey of the Week, Bravo out polled Stewart Elliott with two stakes wins at Lone Star, Kyle Frey who tied with Charle Oliveros for number of wins for the week with nine, and Jose Ortiz who one a stakes race and was leading jockey by total purse earnings.

Dream Marie rallies from far back in the slop to win Obeah under Bravo

Dream Marie gave trainer Matthew Williams his first career stakes victory when the 4-year-old daughter of Graydar rallied from last to win Wednesday’s $100,000 Obeah at 1 1/16 miles over a sloppy and sealed Delaware Park main track.

Owned by the Williams family’s Miracle’s International Training, Dream Marie was dismissed as the 8-1 fifth choice in the field of seven fillies and mares. She paid $19.40 to win.

There was a fast pace on display in the Obeah as rank outsider Shyza set fractions of 23.07 and 47.20 while pressured by race favorite Bajan Girl and Miss Marissa. Shyza backed out first and Miss Marissa traveled better than Bajan Girl as the field turned for home.

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Meanwhile jockey Joe Bravo had Dream Marie outside, and on the move to loom a stalking presence on the second turn. They drove past Miss Marissa and Bajan Girl in midstretch and completed the distance in 1:44.40 seconds while 1 3/4 lengths better than Miss Marissa.

Market Rumor, handled patiently near the rear of the field, rallied widest for third, two lengths behind the runner-up. Bajan Girl, Graceful Princess, Artful Splatter, and Shyza rounded out the order of finish. Crystal Ball, Promised Storm, Jilted Bride, Trolley Ride, Sweet Sami D, Queen Nekia, and Lucky Stride all scratched.

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The Obeah was Dream Marie’s second trip to Delaware Park. Based at Gulfstream Park, she finished second in last summer’s Grade 3 Delaware Oaks behind Project Whiskey. She also placed in two other graded races in 2020, including the Grade 2 Davona Dale.

Graceful Princess, a daughter of Tapit and Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, saved ground behind the leaders and didn’t appear to handle the wet track.

The first four finishers in the Obeah automatically earned a free nomination to the meet’s signature race, the Grade 2, $400,000 Delaware Handicap on July 10.

Gershwin Scores Over Sloppy Main Track In Penn Mile – Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Getting a perfect set-up behind dueling front-runners for the first six furlongs, Godolphin homebred Gershwin – a half-brother to Grade 1 Dubai World Cup winner Mystic Guide – scored a two-length victory under Joe Bravo in Friday evening’s $300,000 Penn Mile Stakes, a one-mile race originally scheduled on turf at Penn National race course in Grantville, Pa., but was transferred to a sloppy main track because of heavy rain.

The Penn Mile is designated as a Grade 2 race on turf by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association’s American Graded Stakes Committee, but was automatically downgraded to Grade 3 because of the surface switch. The AGS Committee conducted a review and opted not to reinstate the original Grade 2 status so the race will be record as Grade 3.

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The King Cheek finished second after dueling with Sibelius through fractions of :24.66, :49.13, and 1:13.75. It was 6 1/4 lengths farther back to Chess’s Dream in third, with 9-5 favorite Annex fourth and Sibelius retreating to the back of the field of five 3-year-olds at the wire. Original and Outadore were scratched.

Gershwin, a Distorted Humor colt out of G1 winner and producer Music Note, by A.P. Indy, is trained by Michael Stidham, who also trains Mystic Guide (by Ghostzapper) for Godolphin. He ran the mile on a sloppy track in 1:39.24 and paid $6.80 to win.

The quality in Gershwin’s female family goes well beyond Music Note, whose second dam is the Harbor View Farm filly It’s In the Air, co-champion 2-year-old filly in 1978 and winner of four G1 races the following year.

The victory was the second in five lifetime starts – all in 2021 – for Gershwin, who left the maiden ranks sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs ver a muddy track in his second start on Feb. 6 at Fair Grounds. He finished a well-beaten third next out on a good track at Oaklawn on March 25, then lost by a neck on a sloppy track at Churchill going a one-turn mile. The Penn Mile was the first stakes attempt.for Gershwin, who trained up to the race at Fair Hill training center in Maryland.

Gershwin broke well from the rail post but Bravo allowed The King Cheek and Sibelius to gain the advantage in the early going. He kept Gershwin well off the rail throughout and swung even wider into the stretch to make his winning move.

Casa Creed gets up in final strides to win Elusive Quality

With Junior Alvarado sidelined for at least a week due to a concussion, trainer Bill Mott is going to have to find other jockeys to ride his horses in some important races upcoming at Churchill Downs.

He can only hope those jockeys give those horses as good a ride as Joe Bravo gave Casa Creed for Mott in Saturday’s $100,000 Elusive Quality Stakes at Belmont Park.

After saving ground on Casa Creed for the first half-mile of the seven-furlong turf stakes, Bravo was able to get Casa Creed into the clear in upper stretch. Once free, Casa Creed kicked home hard and got up in the final jumps to win the Elusive Quality by a head over Front Run the Fed. It was a nose back to Value Proposition as the Chad Brown-trained runners finished second and third. It was only another neck back to longshot Tell Your Daddy in fourth.

Olympic Runner was fifth followed by Therapist, Proven Strategies, and Seismic Wave.

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The victory was the fourth from 19 starts for Casa Creed, a 5-year-old son of Jimmy Creed owned by Lee Einsidler and radio personality Mike Francesa, the latter who races under the banner JEH Racing.

It was the third stakes win for Casa Creed, who had not won since taking the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes in August 2019. He was 0 for 7 since, but had raced in four Grade 1 stakes in that span.

Those races were all at a mile. Mott cut him back to seven furlongs for the first time in the Elusive Quality, named after a horse Mott trained.

Mott was probably hoping for a fast pace on the turnback and then let Casa Creed sit back and come running.

The fast pace did not develop, as Proven Strategies set fractions of 24.05 seconds and 48.02 for the half-mile with some token pressure from Tell Your Daddy.

Bravo had Casa Creed on the inside in sixth, only about four lengths off the pace.

Around the turn, Bravo was able to gradually work his way off the inside and into the five path. In upper stretch, Proven Strategies and Tell Your Daddy were about to be overtaken by Front Run the Fed and Value Proposition, the latter looking for room between horses.

But it was Bravo who had the most horse and passed all four in the final sixteenth to gain the win.

“He had a good trip, he was stuck down inside, which was perfect,” Mott said from Kentucky, where he watched the race via simulcast. “He saved the ground, he had to wait and tip out, the horse gave him a huge kick when he finally got him loose.”

Casa Creed covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.65 and returned $7.60 as the second choice.

“The horse just sat behind horses and the last eighth of a mile was beautiful,” Bravo told New York Racing Association publicity. “I know he wasn’t in front at the eighth pole, but he was a winner the whole way.”

Options for Casa Creed include cutting back to six furlongs in a race such as the Grade 1 Jaipur on June 5 or pointing to the Grade 3, $250,000 Poker at a mile on June 26.

8-Year-Old Almanaar Repeats In Monmouth Stakes Off Lengthy Layoff

Despite being idle for more than 16 months Almanaar reinforced two well-known beliefs in Saturday’s Grade 3 Monmouth Stakes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. One is that age is just a number. The other is that trainer Chad Brown has the rare ability to have a turf horse ready no matter how long it has been between races.

Almanaar made his 8-year-old debut a winning one in capturing the Monmouth Stakes for the second straight year, rallying stoutly from next-to-last after three quarters of a mile to give Brown a 1-2 finish in the $150,000 feature race on the 11-race card.

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The gelded son of Dubawi, who rolled home one length ahead of stablemate Serve the King in the nine-furlong turf stakes, had last raced on May 25, 2019, at Monmouth Park when he won the Monmouth Stakes, then a Grade 2. Prior to that race, his only start in 2019, he had been idle for four months.

None of that mattered as the 3-2 favorite in the field of nine 3-year-olds and up used his strong late kick to overpower the field.

Serve the King finished 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Bal Harbour.

“He has been training well at Belmont the whole time,” said Luis Cabrera, who oversees Brown’s string at Monmouth Park. “The guys there really like the way he has been training. So he has been doing well. These type of horses know what to do. They know where the wire is. So you don’t worry about the layoff with those types. And he has a lot of class. We know that.

“He ran great. I’m very happy with his performance. I can’t say I’m surprised because this horse has been training consistently. He has not missed a work. He was fit and he was ready. Chad always makes sure the horses are 100 percent ready to run.”

Owned by Shadwell Stable, Almanaar won for the eighth time in 21 career starts, a record that includes a victory on the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in 2017.

Though far back in the field early, jockey Joe Bravo said he knew exactly what he was sitting on and tried to be patient through fractions of :48.82 to the half, 1:12.93 to three quarters and 1:37.31 for the opening mile.

The final time for the nine furlongs over a firm turf course was 1:49.22

It was just two weeks ago that Brown trainees finished 1-2 in the $100,000 Violet Stakes on the grass at Monmouth Park, with She’s Got You winning off a 12-week layoff.

“Only Chad Brown does this. He’s amazing,” said Bravo. “This is the second time this year that he has done this in a stakes race at Monmouth Park by winning off a long layoff. (This is) an old horse but he’s a trouper. He’s so strong and powerful that I just wanted to give him some daylight turning for home. Class prevailed.”

Almanaar paid $5.00 to win, boosting his career earnings to $900,349.

After the opening half mile, and even after three quarters had been run, Almanaar had just one horse beat until he made his explosive move coming out of the turn, overhauling Bal Harbour while having more than enough in reserve to hold off Serve the King.

Racing resumes at Monmouth Park with a special eight-race holiday card on Monday, Oct. 12, with the $100,000 Born to Run Stakes for 2-year-olds serving as the feature. First race post is 12:50 p.m.

Wicked Whisper, Bravo Team Up For Miss Preakness Stakes Victory

Winless since her victory in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park nearly one year ago, Alex and JoAnn Lieblong’s Wicked Whisper got a ground-saving trip from Joe Bravo, came off the rail at the furlong pole, then ran down frontrunning Ain’t No Elmers to win Saturday’s Grade 3 Miss Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md.

Ain’t No Elmers finished second, beaten one length after setting all the fractions, with Sound Machine third, another three-quarters of a length back, and 1-2 favorite Mundaye Call fourth in the field of seven 3-year-old fillies.

Wicked Whisper ran the six furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.36 and paid $12.60 for the win, her third in six career starts.

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Trained by Steve Asmussen, Wicked Whisper is from the first crop by Liam’s Map out of the Bernardini mare Zayanna. She was bred in Kentucky by Siena Farms and sold for $500,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Fly On Angel and Angel Cruz broke on top, but Gabriel Saez sent Ain’t No Elmers through on the inside to take command in the run down the backstretch, the opening quarter mile in :23.08. Wicked Whisper sat just behind the top pair on the inside after a half mile in :45.78, awaiting racing room as the field turned into the stretch.

A patient Bravo swung Wicked Whisper off the rail when seeing an opening after five furlongs in :57.97, and the Liam’s Map filly took command from Ain’t No Elmers in the final sixteenth of a mile to win going away.

“You just can’t draw them up to be any better than that,” said Bravo. “She broke good. The only thing I was really told was ‘make sure you pay attention to her leaving the gate. She’s been having trouble getting away from there.’ When she broke so cleanly it was like the pressure got off me. She was able to breathe around the turn. I know the ‘5’ horse (Mundaye Call) is a very good filly, but all horses relaxed and it just gave me all the confidence.”

Mundaye Call raced in the clear to the outside of Wicked Whisper for the opening three furlongs, made a three-wide bid on the turn and lacked any stretch punch.

Wicked Whisper captured the 2019 Frizette after a stylish debut at Saratoga, winning a maiden special weight race by 6 1/4 lengths. She ran fifth at 7-2 in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies to wrap up her 2019 campaign, then finished a well-beaten fourth going seven furlongs in the G3 Beaumont Stakes on July 10 in her 2020 debut at Keeneland. Wicked Whisper ran a good second to Fly On Angel in most recent start, the G3 Charles Town Oaks on Aug. 28, then returned to the Asmussen stable in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., to train up to the Miss Preakness.

“She’s been definitely interrupted by this year’s racing calendar,” said Asmussen. “She was getting ready late for things and then with the cancellations, we got off track. It’s beautiful to see her show the quality that she’s always had. Joe gave her a great trip today. There are big things in her future.”

Trainer Bret Calhoun said the inside post position did not work in Ain’t No Elmers’ favor.

“It probably wasn’t the best post to have, but she ran great and did everything to win,” Calhoun said. “She got pressed the whole way and that’s the difference between an inside and outside post and being a presser instead of a pressee.”

She’s Got You gets first U.S. win with Violet Stakes

Regally bred She’s Got You got in the win column in the U.S. as she rallied for a neck victory in the $100,000 Violet Stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday, the penultimate day of the New Jersey track’s season.

British-born She’s Got You, by emerging young European sire Kingman, races as a homebred for the Glennwood Farm of John and Tanya Gunther, best known as the breeders of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify. The filly is out of their unraced Lemon Drop Kid mare Without You Babe, also the dam of Breeder’s Cup Dirt Mile and Godolphin Mile winner Tamarkuz, and of Without Parole, a Group 1 winner at the renowned Royal Ascot meeting who was third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile.

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She’s Got You was multiple stakes-placed in England last year before coming to Brown in the U.S. after the season. In her first stateside start, also her first outing in more than eight months, she rallied to finish third in an allowance-optional claiming race July 5 on the Belmont turf, beaten a head. That race was at a mile; she got an additional sixteenth to work with in the Violet.

She’s Got You ($5.40), who was sent away favored in the Violet, was unhurried early by Joe Bravo. She trailed the field through the opening half-mile as meanwhile, just over three lengths ahead, Valedictorian turned in that opening split of 48.22 seconds while under pressure from Story Time on her flank.

She’s Got You began advancing under her own power on the far turn, and was set down by Bravo with a four-wide run at the quarter poile. Still fourth and with about three-quarters of a length to make up in midstretch, she found a final gear to edge Altea, also trained by Brown, by a neck at the wire.

“I guess because of the layoff she was very intense and fresh,” Bravo said. “So my hardest job was to get her to turn off and relax. I know the proper turf race is to sit in the pocket and go, but they were so bundled up ahead of me and going so slow I just wanted to get her running early into the turn. Chad Brown’s training took over from there.”

She’s Got You stopped the clock in 1:42.50 for the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf.

Two lengths behind the top two, came Lucky Stride, who rallied from fifth at the quarter pole to be third.

Mischievous Dream splits horses to take Sorority Stakes

Mischievous Dream became a stakes winner Monday at Monmouth Park, when she shuttled through an opening between horses in the stretch to secure a half-length victory over Invincible Gal in the $100,000 Sorority. It was another half-length back in third to Tic Tic Tic Boom.

The Sorority was a mile turf race for 2-year-old fillies.

Mischievous Dream ($9.40) settled off the pace as Unrequited Love set fractions of 23.20 for the opening quarter, 48.37 for the half-mile and 1:13.22 for six furlongs. Mischievous Dream waited for room in the stretch and surged clear when the opportunity arose, covering the distance on firm turf in 1:38.98.

Joe Bravo was aboard for trainer Christophe Clement.

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Mischievous Dream is a daughter of Into Mischief. Her dam, Just Livin a Dream, is a half-sister to Presious Passion, a two-time winner of the Grade 1 United Nations at Monmouth who ran out $2.6 million.

Patricia Generazio, who raced Presious Passion, bred and owns Mischievous Dream. Mischievous Dream has now won 2 of 3 starts after winning her debut over males in July at Saratoga. For her win Monday, she earned $60,000.

Griffin to call remainder of meet

Chris Griffin will serve as announcer for the remainder of the Monmouth Park meet, the track announced Monday. He begins his duties Sept. 12.

Griffin is subbing for Monmouth announcer Frank Mirahmadi.

The Monmouth meet wraps Sept. 27. Griffin also will call the nine-date Meadowlands-at-Monmouth meet in October.

Griffin, 39, is a native of California. He has called at a number of different tracks, including Sam Houston Race Park in Houston.

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