It's extremely unusual for a Thoroughbred racehorse to make the big leap from first lifetime start right into top shelf stakes company. It's even more unusual for a jockey to choose such a horse over one that he had ridden to victory in a classic like the Kentucky Oaks (G1). But that's exactly how the saga of Three Chimneys Farm homebred filly Guarana played out. Trained by Chad Brown, who is proving to be one of the best trainers of young fillies, Guarana devastated the field in a maiden race in April at Keeneland, winning her first start by almost 15 lengths under Jose Ortiz. Brown then skipped allowance or lessor stakes company with the daughter of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Ghostzapper, opting to run her in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont June 8. Ortiz, named on both Guarana and Oaks winner Serengeti Empress, chose to ride the second-time starter over the multiple stakes winner It was a wise decision, as Guarana sat third while Serengeti Empress set wicked fast fractions, then took aim on the leader and drew off to a six-length victory in a track record 1:33.53. “She broke great,” said Ortiz. “I thought the moment she broke she could make the lead, but then I saw that the one [Serengeti Empress] and three [Cookie Dough] went on and I was able to drop in behind them. Her first race she went wire to wire, but she’s very classy. All I can say is wow!” Guarana made it three-for-three with another wire-to-wire win in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga July 21 in spite of drifting out in deep stretch. An objection was quickly dismissed. “She handled a mile and an eighth well,” Brown said of the filly has earned nearly $700,000 in just three career starts. “I thought she got a really good ride from Jose. Nice, comfortable fractions and had enough to get to the wire. The runner-up ran terrific as well. It was a good horse race. I think she got a little lonely out there towards the wire, but like Jose indicated to me, she was starting to get a little tired. She did overreact to the stick a little bit. It caused her to briefly come out, but she was well clear.” The name Guarana comes from an Amazon plant with seeds that have more caffeine than coffee.

Lifetime Stats

2019 Graded Stakes Points

Previous Races

September 21, 2019Cotillion S.PARX RACING12
July 21, 2019Coaching Club American OaksSARATOGA11
June 08, 2019Acorn S.BELMONT PARK11
April 19, 2019 KEENELAND 1