05/31/2002 12:00AM

Broken wrist puts Bravo out for meet

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - Joe Bravo is expected to miss the rest of the Monmouth meet after suffering a broken left wrist during the seventh race on Thursday. Bravo had surgery on his wrist Thursday night and was expected to leave the hospital Saturday, said Bravo's agent, Danny Mellul. Healing time is three to four months, according to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brian Torpey, who operated on Bravo.

Bravo was taken to Monmouth Medical Center immediately after the spill and was operated on very quickly.

"When he arrived yesterday, he had lost the sensation in his hand, which is always a cause for concern," said Torpey. "It turned out that he had broken the lunate bone, which is located in the wrist, causing the blood circulation to the bone to stop and for the nerves to become desensitized.

"We bumped the operating room schedule so that we could get him upstairs, and he was in surgery within a half-hour," Torpey added. "I inserted five pins into his wrist. The entire surgery took 2 1/2 hours."

Torpey said that he saw Bravo Friday morning and that the surgery was successful.

"The blood supply was flowing again and he had feeling in his hand," Torpey said. "I'll take another look at him in a week to make sure the pins are doing their job and everything's lined up the way it should be."

Torpey said Bravo would need one additional surgery to remove the pins.

Bravo, eight-time Monmouth riding champion, suffered a broken leg in a spill last July that sidelined him for eight months. He was fully recovered from the injury heading into this meet and enjoying an outstanding start. He had 21 winners from seven days of racing at the meet.

Dr. Angelo Chinicci, medical director for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, was the first physician to see Bravo after the accident, and he said that Bravo suffered multiple fractures of the left wrist and the small bones of the hand. Chinicci said the injury would have been much worse if not for the rubber bands Bravo had on his wrists. Jockeys wear large rubber bands on their wrists outside of their racing silks to keep the shirt sleeves tight against their wrist while riding.

"They keep the wrist in place almost like a pliable cast, and it saved the wrist from an open fracture," Chinicci said.

The accident occurred in a 1 1/16-mile turf race while Bravo and his mount, Oh My Pretty Halo, were going into the first turn. Mato, with Eibar Coa aboard, slipped and fell. Bravo tried to swerve his mount away from the spill, but he fell off and landed on his left arm. Coa was unhurt in the spill.

"Joe's horse clipped mine, and I saw him go flying over me," Coa said. "We both got up and I saw him holding his hand, really upset. I guess he knew it was bad."

Simon a future regular

In only three years as a head trainer, Chuck Simon has crafted a solid reputation for himself with a quality stable based in the Midwest. Simon's main base is Churchill Downs, and he will bring horses to his hometown of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., when that meet opens.

Simon, 34, also has brought a string to Monmouth for the first time this summer, and plans to come here in the future.

"Monmouth Park has always been a favorite of mine," Simon said. "The people I know here, [trainers] Charlie Harvatt and Peter Walder, all rave about it. It's a good fit for me and my horses."

Simon, who was an assistant for 5 1/2 years to Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens, said he has run a few stakes horses here in past years. Once Saratoga opens, he will travel between there and Monmouth. Simon has 12 horses stabled at Monmouth for five different owners. Simon has yet to win at the meet.

Emergency Status's status

Emergency Status, the wire-to-wire longshot winner of the Jersey Derby on Memorial Day, will make his next start in the $50,000 Choice Stakes on June 23, according to his trainer, Derek Ryan.

Emergency Status, who paid $112.20 to win, gave Ryan his first graded stakes win in his first try.

"I was pretty confident he'd run well," he said. "I still can't believe that price."

- Carl Auwater, a retired New Jersey-based trainer, died Wednesday from a stroke. He was 90. Auwater was on the board of the New Jersey Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association for 30 years, and managed his Little Timber Ranch farm in Tansboro, N.J., with his wife, Ruth, until his death. He retired from training last year.