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HRN Original Blog:
Racing At The Jersey Shore

"Jersey Joe" Bravo takes the United Nations Again

Big Blue Kitten won the United Nations (G1) at Monmouth Park today and a guaranteed spot in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita on November 2.  The betting public made Big Blue Kitten the 5-2 second choice behind the favorite Little Mike.

With connections like: Ken and Sarah Ramsey as owners, Chad Brown as trainer, Kitten’s Joy as sire, and Joe Bravo as jockey; a victory in this grade one turf stake should have come as no surprise. When Bravo brought Big Blue Kitten back to the winner’s circle he yelled with glee, “No doubt, no doubt.”
 
As was expected Little Mike shot out of the gate to set the pace going 1:12.43 for the first six furlongs. At that point Gary Stevens sent Skyring up to challenge the leader. Little Mike held off that challenge but at the top of the stretch he began to tire and bore out slightly, giving Bravo just enough room through which to squeeze.
 
How tight was the opening for Bravo and Big Blue Kitten? The always jocular “Jersey Joe” said, “He is a thin horse and if I was on a fat horse he probably wouldn’t have made it.”
 
After the race Bravo, who won the United Nations last year on Turbo Compressor, said, “I just won a grade one for Chad Brown and Mr. Ramsey.  The horse was really relaxed the whole race. He was sitting comfortable underneath me.  It was a grade one, the United Nations, look what he did when he turned for home. He exploded. He’s just a really good horse.”
 
Trainer Chad Brown, who watched the race from his office in Saratoga, heaped the praise on Bravo, “Another memorable ride from Joe Bravo.  That was one for his highlight reel.  I had so much confidence in Joe riding this horse.  I came down when he ran at Monmouth last out and Joe told me if he knew the horse a little bit more he would have probably won that one.  After his last race, Joe really sold me on giving the United Nations some consideration.”
 
Chad Brown talked about the future for Big Blue Kitten, “I don’t know where we’ll go next yet, I will speak to Mr. Ramsey about it.  I’m sure we’ll take a look at the Arlington Million, I wouldn’t be opposed to going a mile and a half in the Sword Dancer, or cutting back for the Arlington Million.  He’ll head back to his base at Saratoga tonight and we’ll wait and see.” 
 
A couple things we know for sure, Big Blue Kitten has a spot in the Breeders’ Cup and at Monmouth Park Joe Bravo is the king of the turf and a great ambassador for racing as be proclaimed, “I love this game.” 

 

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Older Comments about "Jersey Joe" Bravo takes the United Nations Again...

Gutsy ride, but he saved all the ground and had a fairly quick pack to run into. I think if he comes to AP, the Euros will eat him alive in the Million. Probably better off pointing to the Sword Dancer.
BSF of 93 for Big Blue Kitten.
Joe rides the turf nicely, since forever
Great ride by Jersey Joe ... hope to see him and the Kitten at Arlington for the Million!

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Meet Matt Shifman

In the 70’s I was another one of those kids that went to the track with their fathers, and I immediately became enthralled with the excitement and challenges of handicapping.  And then the charisma and dominance of Secretariat gave me a hero to follow. To this day, I still get emotional when I hear Chic Anderson’s call of the 1973 Belmont, “Secretariat is moving like a tremendous machine”.

 
There have been many great horses run at the shore. In 1976 I watched Majestic Light win the Monmouth Invitational, now the Haskell, in track record time, defeating Honest Pleasure, the big favorite who was in from New York.  This was one of my first big wins at the track.
 
In the 80’s, as a disciple of Andy Beyer, I made my own speed figures because they were not available to the public. Needless to say I visited Monmouth frequently to test out the “figs”.
 
The 90’s allowed me to learn about the backstretch as a part owner of a few claimers that were stabled at Philadelphia Park.  Not a typical owner, I mucked stalls, cooled out the horses, and watched morning works.  Also, I met my wife and discovered that her grandfather bred, owned, and raced thoroughbreds on the West Virginia, Maryland circuit.  Today our office is decorated with winner’s circle pictures and a vast collection of Kentucky Derby glasses.
 
Today’s electronic age makes it so easy to gather information about racing.  I hope you use this blog to learn about Racing at the Jersey Shore.