Milestone 5,000th win for jockey Joe Bravo

Jockey Joe Bravo guided in his 5,000th career winner May 23 when Boss Man won the sixth race at Monmouth Park (VIDEO).
Bravo joins the elite company of just 30 other riders to reach the 5,000-win plateau. “I want to thank all the people that were there when I wasn’t doing this good,” said Bravo, who was born just a few miles from Monmouth Park in Long Branch, N.J. “I’ve been extremely fortunate in my career and to get today’s win right here at Monmouth is even more special. I’ve been at this for more years than I wish to count now and it’s been a great ride so far.”

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Through Saturday’s sixth race, Bravo’s lifetime record also includes 4,435 seconds and 3,752 thirds from 27,453 mounts that have earned nearly $150 million, making him the 27th all-time money-earning rider.

In the annals of New Jersey horse racing, no single rider has accomplished what Bravo has. The resident of Eatontown, N.J. has won nearly half his career races at Monmouth, including all of the track’s top events, most notably the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) with Lion Heart in 2004.
In 1991, Bravo became the first rider in New Jersey history to win jockey titles at Garden State Park, Meadowlands, and Monmouth in a single season. He followed that up with a record 12 more championships at Monmouth. On four occasions, he rode a then-record six winners on a single card.

“New Jersey is home,” Bravo said. “I am so grateful that so many of my friends were here today for this. And a special thank you to the fans. So many people have supported me through the years and I will always be grateful for their kindness, support, and most importantly, their friendship.”

The 5,000 club now features 14 active riders, among them eight Hall of Fame members, including the all-time leader Russell Baze, who has 12,555 victories.

For win 5,000, Bravo sat patiently aboard Michael Gabriel’s Boss Man before finding clear run near the eighth pole and kicking away to a decisive three-length score. Trained by Jason Servis, the son of English Channel returned $2.80 as the odds-on choice in the mile turf claiming event.