Joe Bravo

Lopez to Join the Monmouth Riding Colony

Cory Moran, the agent for top Monmouth rider Paco Lopez, informed trainers Thursday by text that his client will begin riding at the meet June 5. Lopez's status had been up in the air as he was considering his options in the face of new rules instituted at Monmouth that ban whipping. Some riders have said they would not ride at Monmouth because they felt the whip ban created unsafe racing conditions. Lopez will not be riding at Monmouth this weekend, but that is because he has prior commitments to...

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For Second Day of Meet, Monmouth Will Have Plenty of Jockeys, Horses

The Monmouth Park racing office appeared to have no problem attracting horses and jockeys for Saturday's card when entries were taken Thursday. A 12-race card attracted 107 entries and there are 22 jockeys named to ride. There had been concerns that the track would fall short in both categories because some of the top riders have decided to sit out the opening weekend at Monmouth because they are concerned about new rules that prohibit whipping in the races, with the only exception being instances when there are safety concerns. "We...

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Monmouth Opening Day: 45 Horses, 14 Jockeys, No Whipping & Lots of Controversy

by T.D. Thornton, Bill Finley & Sue Finley Amid concerns that jockeys would either be protesting Monmouth Park's May 28 opening-day program or not riding at all during the meet because of their concerns over a new state rule that prohibits whipping outside of emergency safety usage, it took until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday for Friday's overnight at Monmouth Park to be released, with six races drawing 45 entrants ridden by 14 jockeys. Now that Friday's opening day program appears to be a "go," the looming larger question is what will...

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With Whip Ban in Place, Showdown Looms at Monmouth

With 10 days to go before opening day at Monmouth Park, preparations are being made to kick off the 53-day meet that begins May 28. Track officials are ready to go and so are the trainers and about 1,100 horses already stabled at the seaside track. But who will ride the horses? That question remained up in the air Tuesday. The New Jersey Racing Commission has passed regulations that will go into effect on opening day that will prevent jockeys from using their whips, except for cases when there are...

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Jockeys Say They'll Skip Monmouth Over Whip Rules

With a court having denied a motion to stay a New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) regulation banning the use of the whip, racing at Monmouth is set to get underway under the tightest rules in the nation regarding the crop. But whips may not be the only thing missing on opening day May 28. At least three jockeys have said that, because of the whip ban, they will not ride at Monmouth this year. Jockeys across the country have come out against whip restrictions, saying that the crop is a...

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Mischievous Dream Lands Sorority in Dramatic Fashion for Into Mischief

The stellar weekend for Spendthrift Farm stalwart Into Mischief continued with a new stakes winner in Monmouth's Sorority S. Monday. Unveiled against New York-breds sprinting at Saratoga, Mischievous Dream closed to win by a length July 19, but could only manage fourth after a wide trip over course and distance in the Bolton Landing S. there Aug. 19. Stepped up to a mile for the first time, the third choice sidled over to the rail and settled in midpack in the full field behind splits of :23.20 and :48.37. Catching...

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Pneumatic Takes Monmouth's Pegasus S. in Style

Pneumatic debuted going six panels at Oaklawn Feb. 15 with a neck score over next out winner Skol Factor (The Factor) before earning TDN Rising Star status stretching to a mile in optional claiming company at the Hot Springs oval Apr. 11. Tiring to third after prompting the early pace in Churchill's GIII Matt Winn S. May 23, the dark bay finished fourth most recently in the GI Belmont S. June 20. Installed the 4-5 favorite in this field of eight, Pneumatic sat close to the pace-setting two-for-two Arkaan through...

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Another Maker Claim Makes the Grade in UN

Mike Maker's incredible success with turning claimers into graded winners on the turf is well documented, but that didn't stop Aquaphobia from getting lost on the board and upending Saturday's GI United Nations S. at 10-1 off a 9-2 morning line. Taken for $62,500 out of a fourth-place run at Gulfstream Jan. 26 for Drawing Away Stable and Robert Falcone, Jr., the bay immediately began repaying his new connections' investment when he bested future stablemate and fellow UN competitor Muggsamatic (Any Given Saturday) in a Gulfstream starter stakes race Feb....

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