Scandinavian equestrian champion Elione Chaves wins with Monmouth Park’s first mount – NewsRaiser
Elione Chaves at Monmouth Park
If Elione Chaves was suffering from a jet leg after a nearly 8½ flight from Sweden on Sunday, it didn’t show up in Monday’s first race at Monmouth Park.
The 38-year-old from Brasilia, Brazil, who now calls Malmö, Sweden home, won a duel with Samy Camacho to win the opening race on the Memorial Day card with Twisted Treasure for coach Rafael Schistl.
It was the first run at Monmouth Park for the Scandinavian champion who has topped the jockey rankings in Sweden for six of the past eight years. Chaves said he plans to be at Monmouth throughout the summer, making the first call for his good friend Schistl.
The victory came just 18 hours after leaving Stockholm.
“I feel good. I’m very happy to win my first race here,” Chaves said. but we’ll see what happens.
Chaves said he met Schistl 16 years ago when they were both riding in Brazil. When Schistl left to ride first and then practice on Scandinavian tracks, he contacted Chaves and invited him to come ride for him.
“I’ve been there for 13 years now,” said Chaves, who has also ridden in Germany, Italy, Singapore, Dubai, Denmark, Germany and Norway. He said he had been lead driver at various Scandinavian tracks 19 times.
“I decided to come to the States in March and tried Oaklawn, but I didn’t feel comfortable there. I didn’t feel at home,” he said, going 0-3 during his brief stay in Hot Springs, Ark.
Enter Schistl again. Schistl told him to try Tampa Downs and that he would give him mounts if he came.
“So I went to Tampa for the last six weeks. I rode six winners,” Chaves said. “Then Rafael said to me, ‘I’m going to Monmouth Park for the summer. Do you want to come with me?’ I said yes.”
Chaves’ plan is to ride as often as possible at the Monmouth meet, with a few exceptions when he returns to Sweden and Norway to compete in big races in those countries over the summer. He has ridden more than 1,400 winners in total, more than half of them (735) in Sweden.