by Karen M. Johnson
Jockey Joe Bravo, who fractured his left clavicle bone in a Sept. 7 spill at Belmont Park, is a “week to 10 days” away from galloping horses, his agent, Drew Mollica, said Sept. 30.
Bravo, 36, has been undergoing physical therapy in New Jersey, where he lives, and Mollica is hopeful the jockey can be riding races by the middle of October.
Five days before suffering the injury, Bravo wrapped up his 13th riding title – a record – at Monmouth Park. It was his fifth consecutive meet title at the Oceanport, N.J. racetrack.
Bravo sustained the fracture collarbone when his mount, Find the Chestnut, broke his right front ankle during the third race on the opening-day card. The rider was pitched to the ground and the horse was euthanized.
During the summer, Bravo, a native of New Jersey, remarked he was looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup Championships coming to Monmouth Park Oct. 26-27. “It’s like having the Super Bowl right in your backyard,” he said.
Mollica said the goal is to have Breeders’ Cup mounts, but the agent remarked he and his rider will have to see how things unfold in the coming weeks.
“If that doesn’t work out, I’ll have to call an audible,” Mollica said. “I’m not opposed to filling out the weekend (at Aqueduct) if everyone else is in New Jersey. We have to play the hand we are dealt.”
Bravo, whose moniker is “Jersey Joe,” really should be called the “Comeback Kid.” Throughout his 19-year career, the rider has suffered numerous injuries. In 2001, he broke a leg in a spill at Monmouth and was sidelined for the remainder of the year. In 2002, eight days into the Monmouth meet, Bravo fractured his wrist and didn’t ride again until 2003. Last year, he broke his back in a spill at Gulfstream Park, but returned five months later to win his 12th riding title at Monmouth.
Bravo broke his collarbone in July 2005 and was out of action for six weeks.