Joe Bravo made the most of his travels last week. With mounts at Delaware Park in Delaware, Belmont Park in New York and Pimlico race course in Maryland, 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 3-year-olds 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.
“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 on Sunday for the call on Pixelate in the Prince George’s County for 3-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 that 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.
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