Archive for the ‘Jockey Joe Bravo’ Category.

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.

Click here to read from Paulick Report

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.

Analyze It Wins Red Bank off the Shelf

Luis Cabrera didn’t hesitate when asked whether Analyze It’s impressive victory in the $152,500 Red Bank Stakes (G3T) at Monmouth Park signaled the long-awaited return for the talented 5-year-old.

“I would say after this that he is back—1:35 and change is impressive,” said Cabrera, who oversees trainer Chad Brown’s string at Monmouth.

Idle for 22 months, the multiple graded stakes winner made short work of his six rivals in scoring a sharp 1 3/4-length victory. A son of Point of Entry campaigned by William Lawrence, Analyze It was making his first start since a close third in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1T) at Churchill Downs.

The time for the mile on a firm turf course was 1:35.54.

“We weren’t concerned about the layoff the way he has been working to come back for this,” Cabrera said. “He just had a few problems, nothing serious. He has been working very good for this, so we had high expectations.”

Click here to read from BloodHorse

With jockey Joe Bravo saving ground along the rail behind dueling leaders Abiding Star and Irish Strait through an opening quarter in :24.24 and then :48.55, Analyze It was eager for room entering the final turn. Bravo found a crease coming out of the turn, and Analyze It blew past the frontrunners.

Megacity rallied for second, 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Abiding Star.

“It’s so nice when you deal with the best of the best,” Bravo said. “He came over to the track with so much professionalism, so relaxed. Just by his demeanor, you can tell he’s a good one.

“He broke alertly, and what makes him such a professional is he has been taught to turn it off and relax. … He has run against the best of the best. This was a good spot for him to come back. He should get some confidence from this.”

Now sporting a 4-3-1 mark from nine starts, Analyze It boosted his earnings to $849,400. His victories include the 2017 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes (G3T) and 2018 Kentucky Utilities Transylvania Stakes (G3T). He was bred in Kentucky by P. Headley Bell, Nancy Bell, and NATO out of the Consolidator mare Sweet Assay. Analyze It has a 2-year-old full brother named Shirelle in training with Brown. and Sweet Assay produced a Kitten’s Joy colt in 2019. She aborted on an Oscar Performance cover this year and was bred back to the Mill Ridge stallion for 2021.

“Going forward now, that’s Chad’s decision,” Cabrera said of Analyze It’s next possible start.

Pneumatic Pulls Away in Pegasus

Winchell Thoroughbreds’ homebred Pneumatic notched his first stakes victory in the $155,000 Pegasus Stakes Aug. 15 at Monmouth Park, pulling away in the stretch to win by 2 1/4 lengths.

The Pegasus was the last race on this year’s revamped Road to the Kentucky Derby schedule, awarding the top four finishers qualifying points for the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) on a 20-8-4-2 scale.

Pneumatic has a total of 45 points following the Pegasus and now sits 11th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, which determines the horses who gain entry to the classic. The Uncle Mo colt also earned points by finishing third in the May 23 Matt Winn Stakes (G3) and fourth in the June 20 Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1).

David Fiske, the racing and bloodstock manager for Winchell, said the Kentucky Derby isn’t the next planned step for Pneumatic following the Pegasus, but that connections will see how the colt comes out of the race before making any definite decisions.

“Depending on how he comes out, we might change our mind,” Fiske said of a possible Run for the Roses. “He would have to do something just amazing in the next two weeks for that to happen.”

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Pneumatic, trained by Steve Asmussen, was ridden by Joe Bravo in the 1 1/16-mile Pegasus and raced three wide early in third. He sat off the pace of Arkaan, who led through fractions of :24.17, :48.28, and 1:12.80 for six furlongs. Wartime Hero was second on the rail.

Arkaan was down to a head advantage by the time he ran three-quarters of a mile and Pneumatic loomed on the outside before taking charge past the quarter pole. Jesus’ Team, fourth in the Haskell Stakes (G1) a month ago at Monmouth, rallied wide but Bravo kept Pneumatic at task as his mount cruised across the finish line first. The final time on the fast track was 1:44.76.

“I talked to Steve and his assistant Scott Blasi this morning, and they were really excited about the horse. But you never really know until you sit on them,” Bravo said. “He was just in full control the whole time. A very relaxed animal—he was going very smoothly.

“I give credit to the other two horses for hanging with him for second and third because we kicked so solidly turning for home, and I looked and I said, ‘OK, they’ve stayed with us for a little bit.’ I don’t know what their plans are going forward with this horse, but I’d like to say he did this very effortlessly and well within himself.”

Jesus’ Team was second, 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Arkaan, who stayed on for third in the strung-out field. Eight lengths back was Super John, who was followed home by Wartime Hero, Big City Bob, Skyscanner, and As Seen On Tv.

Pneumatic paid $3.60 as the 4-5 favorite.

From five starts, the dark bay has three wins and a third and earnings of $256,850.

Bred in Kentucky, Pneumatic is the first foal out of Winchell’s stakes-placed Tapit mare Teardrop, a full sister to Silverbulletday Stakes (G3) winner War Echo and a three-quarters sister to Forego Stakes (G1) winner Pyro.

“I raised his mother, his grandmother, and his great-grandmother. He’s a true homeboy,” Fiske said after the Pegasus. “That was great to see.”

Teardrop has a 2-year-old filly by Candy Ride named Drop Off, a yearling colt by Gun Runner , and foaled another Gun Runner colt April 8. She was reported bred to Copper Bullet this year.

Sacred Life draws away to win Oceanport Stakes

Sacred Life scored his first stakes victory in the United States on Sunday at Monmouth Park, overhauling Irish Strait in the stretch and drawing clear to win the $100,000 Oceanport Stakes by four lengths.

French-bred Sacred Life ($4.40), a 5-year-old son of Siyouni, moved to the United States last year to race for Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables, and Bethlehem Stables. The horse began his career in his native France, winning the Group 3 Prix Thomas Bryon in 2017 and placing in multiple group stakes events in 2018.

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He has now won twice from six U.S. outings for trainer Chad Brown, with his other victory coming in an allowance race last fall at Keeneland. Grade 2-placed at both Saratoga and Del Mar, the Oceanport marked his first start since finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational in January.

“I wasn’t worried about the” layoff, assistant trainer Luis Cabrera told Monmouth publicity. “He’s a very classy horse. He knows what to do, and he knows where the wire is. He beat a good field. This was a tough race. But this is a good horse, a very classy horse. He ran the same way in Florida in his last start.

He ran good, considering it was a Grade 1. Then Chad gave him a little break. He really closed nicely this race.”

New Jersey-bred Irish Strait, a graded stakes winner at Monmouth Park, had assumed command of the Oceanport through a half-mile in 48.92 seconds and six furlongs in 1:12.53. He took a two-length lead into the stretch and appeared headed for the win off a long layoff. However, Sacred Life, who had been fifth after six furlongs under Monmouth leading rider Paco Lopez, advanced inside on the far turn before angling out for running room straightening into the lane. He easily collared Irish Strait and stormed home to his final margin, stopping the clock in 1:42.13 for the 1 1/16 miles.

Hawkish rallied from fifth in deep stretch to nose out Irish Strait for second.

County Final Goes from Sales to Tyro Winner’s Circle

Whether in the sales ring or on the racetrack, County Final is commanding attention. The 2-year-old Oxbow colt, who topped the Fasig-Tipton July Horses of Racing Age Sale when purchased for $475,000, picked up his first stakes win for his new connections Aug. 8 by winning the $71,500 Tyro Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Reluctant to load and slower into stride than in two prior starts, races in which he led early, County Final chased the pace for the first time in the Tyro. He settled in second, as the Wesley Ward-trained first-time starter Spicy Marg shot to the lead with an opening quarter-mile in :22.20.

Called into action on the turn by jockey Joe Bravo, he was initially turned back by Spicy Marg, but by midstretch, his seasoning advantage was apparent. He reeled in the leader shortly after a half-mile split in :45.65, and coasted home the final eighth of the five-furlong dash by 4 1/4 lengths. He completed the distance on a fast track in :58.16, paying $2.80 as the favorite.

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“He’s a pretty nice colt. Very mature,” said Bravo. “He really impressed me in the post parade. He’s a very intelligent horse. He relaxed nicely.

“He broke good but that horse inside of us (Spicy Marg) is fast. (She) out-footed us, but it was so impressive at the one-eighth pole. My horse switched leads and he took off.”

Spicy Marg, a filly matched against three males in the Tyro, held second, two lengths ahead of third-place Newyearsblockparty. Beau Bridge completed the order of finish.

The Tyro, originally scheduled for turf but moved to the main track, lost half of its field when Fauci, Baytown Bear, Golden Pal, and Twirling Fire were scratched. Golden Pal and Fauci were the race’s morning-line favorites.

County Final, now owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, William Sandbrook, and Anna Marie Shannon and trained by Steve Asmussen, previously raced for trainer John Ennis, who owned him in partnership with Hayden Noriega and 47 Roses.

Ennis consigned the colt to last month’s sale after a debut maiden victory at Churchill Downs followed by a runner-up finish behind Cazadero in the Bashford Manor Stakes (G3). At Fasig-Tipton he proved a popular commodity, ultimately purchased by West Point with Lane’s End Bloodstock acting as agent.

Saturday he became the first stakes winner from his dam, the Tapit mare Tapajo, who won the six-furlong Goldfinch Stakes and one-mile Panthers Stakes at Prairie Meadows in 2012 for Asmussen. He is one of three winners from his dam, who also as a yearling filly by Keen Ice and foaled a Will Take Charge colt this year.

Bred in Kentucky by Calumet Farm, where Oxbow currently stands for $10,000, the colt was originally bought for $9,500 by Ennis from Ballysax Bloodstock at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Jersey joe dominates at monmouth, honored with foundationdetox.Com jockey of the week award

After leading the Nation in stakes wins, Joe Bravo was voted the Jockeys’ Guild Foundation Detox Jockey of the Week for July 13th – July 19th. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.

As he’s done since the early 1990’s at historic Monmouth Park, New Jersey born Joe Bravo continues to be a force to be reckoned with as he captured three stakes including the $315,000 United Nations Stakes (G1), the $262,500 Molly Pitcher Stakes (G3), and the $76,500 Jersey Girl Handicap.

In the United Nations Stakes, aboard Aquaphobia, Jersey Joe had the seven-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway in a stalking position. While saving ground in the mile and three eights marathon, the veteran rider entertained the perfect trip before splitting horses to win clear for conditioner Michael Maker.

Click here to read from Jockey Talk 360

Returning in the day’s finale, the Molly Pitcher Stakes, Bravo climbed aboard Horologist in the one mile and sixteenth contest on the dirt. Tracking and commencing a bid on the far turn, the New Jersey bred daughter of Gemologist rallied through the stretch under constant urging to draw clear for trainer William Mott.

To complete the weekend, Bravo accepted the mount aboard the Michael Maker trained Bramble Bay in Sunday’s Jersey Girl Handicap, a mile on the turf for Jersey bred fillies and mares. Jersey Joe saved ground aboard the daughter of Bullet Train before angling off the rail to split horses with a sixteenth of a mile remaining and up in time for the victory.

In addition, Bravo finished third in the marquee race of the meet, the Haskell Stakes (G1) while producing a mild rally aboard the Tod Pletcher’s Belmont Stakes runner up Dr. Post. Bravo also finished second in the Matchmaker Stakes (G3) and third in the Wolf Hill Stakes.

As the leading rider by total stakes wins (3), Bravo maintained a 36% win percentage while in the money on 73% of his mounts. With four wins, one second and three thirds, his earnings totaled $554,500.

Bravo has won 20 of 212 starts this year and 5,408 of 29,999 career mounts. In 2020, his mounts have earned $1,770,192 and his lifetime earnings exceed $184 million.

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