DANZA - The Arkansas Derby- Seventy Eighth Running - Grade I - 04-12-14 - R11 - OP - Joe BravoJockey Joe Bravo shipped in for just two mounts on Saturday’s Thistledown card and made the most of that trip by winning them both. One of those wins included a victory in the track’s premiere race of the meet, The Ohio Derby. That winning ride helped compel panelists to vote Bravo the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for June 15th – June 21st. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.

Bravo took the call for the first time on the three-year-old Mr. Z for trainer D. Wayne Lukas and made the most of it going wire to wire to just hold off multiple challengers at the finish.

“It wasn’t a wasted plane flight today, was it?” said jockey Joe Bravo. “Top of the lane, the horses come to each side of this horse… he could have got beat today, but he just put his ears back and said ‘Come on, jock, we’re going to win today.’

“Mr. Z’s a fighter and you couldn’t underestimate this race. There were some really nice, talented horses that have been chasing American Pharoah all year long.”

The six wins from just 14 starters this week boosted the veteran rider’s all-time tally to 5,014 wins. That number puts him in 30th place on the lifetime win list for North American jockeys. Joe won his first race at Calder Racecourse in 1988 and has dominated the New Jersey racing circuit since the early 1990s. He has won nine riding titles at the Meadowlands Racetrack and 13 at Monmouth Park.

For the week Bravo went 6-2-1 from 14 mounts and led all riders in earnings with a total of $416,820.

JockeyTalk360.com spotlights the riders across North America and around the world who may be the bravest, toughest and most accomplished of all athletes. The Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of America’s Best Racing, the Daily Racing Form, Equibase, the Jockeys’ Guild, the Paulick Report, the Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and Turf Publicists of America.