Joe Bravo Returns to Gulfstream Park Winner’s Circle
Jersey Joe, David Fawkes Team Up Again for Race 3 Win
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL –Jockey Joe Bravo has enjoyed a history of success on David Fawkes-trained horses at Gulfstream Park and beyond over the years, so it was only fitting that the veteran rider would score his first victory since returning from Southern California aboard a Fawkes trainee.
Bravo, who has ridden the winners of 5627 races and more than $199.7 million in purses, guided Whateverwilbewillbe to victory with a heads-up ride in Sunday’s Race 3 of Gulfstream Park’s nine-race program. Bravo broke through with his first win back at Gulfstream on only his second mount.
“It’s nice to be home, but it’s even better to do it for friends,” said the 52-year-old jockey who began is career in South Florida in 1988. “Look at the horse he put me on. I was just able to sit there. It made my job easier.”
Bravo eased Whateverwilbewillbe off a contested early pace in the seven-furlong maiden claiming race to attain a ground-saving trip behind the speed into the far turn. Midway on the turn, Brave slipped his mount inside the tiring pacesetter on his way to a 1 ¼-length victory.
Bravo made a most successful foray into the Southern California Thoroughbred racing circuit after leaving the East Coast in 2021, winning several graded stakes, including the 2022 Big Crosby (G1) aboard American Theorem.
“I was thankful, but when it came right down to it, off days in California became pretty quiet for me. I just wanted to be around the people I love and know, and that’s the reason I’m here,” Bravo said. “I’m excited to be back here racing.”
Bravo added to his impressive resume in 2015 and 2016 aboard Fawkes-trained Sheer Drama, who won the 2015 Royal Delta (G2) before capturing three-straight Grade 1 victories in 2016.
Bravo and Fawkes are long-time fishing buddies in addition to being a successful jockey-trainer duo.
“I have to cut his bait. He has me cleaning the boat. It’s horrible,” Bravo quipped.