Joe Bravo doesn't ride at Monmouth Park nearly as often as he used to but when he does he generally serves up a reminder of how he became a 13-time riding champion at the track.
Bravo won three of the four stakes races on Saturday's card, including the Grade 3 Violet Stakes with Elysea's World and the Grade 3 Red Bank Stakes aboard Synchrony – making both horses the only multiple graded stakes winners during a meet that concludes on Sunday, Sept. 9.
“I'm just happy to be home,” said Bravo. “I'm so fortunate to have good people who support me. It keeps everything fun.”
Bravo rode winners for trainers Chad Brown (Elysea's World), Michael Stidham (Synchrony) and Bill Mott (Unionizer in the Sapling Stakes) to give him 10 victories from 24 stakes mounts at Monmouth this summer.
He missed a sweep of Saturday's stakes races when Malocchio, his mount in the Sorority Stakes, finished in a dead-heat for second in a race won by 9-1 shot Decorated Ace.
Elysea's World technically became the first multiple graded stakes winner when she followed her victory in the Grade 3 Matchmaker Stakes on July 29 by capturing the Violet Stakes by three-quarters of a length over Viva Vegas, with Bravo rallying the 5-year-old mare through an opening along the rail at the top of the stretch in the mile and an eighth grass stakes.
“She ran great,” said Brown, who watched the race from Saratoga. “Joe rode a terrific race and she responded nicely.”
Sent off as the 1-2 favorite by the crowd of 14,524, Elsyea's World's late rally resulted in her third Grade 3 victory in her past five starts.
“She was in full control the whole race,” said Bravo. “She left there easy and comfortably and it just kind of made my job easy. The hardest part about this game is getting them happy and Chad Brown has done a great job getting her happy. You can see she is just enjoying herself out there.”
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