(Guarana wins the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks / Photo by Janet Garaguso & Courtesy of NYRA)
From the NYRA Media Team:
Three Chimneys Farm’s Guarana continued her career’s torrid start and earned her second consecutive Grade 1 victory, kicking away from Point of Honor in the stretch to stay undefeated in capturing the $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks in wire-to-wire fashion by a length on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course.
Jockey Jose Ortiz, rider of Guarana (1st):
“I had a very good trip. She broke very clean and I went to the lead,” said Ortiz, who has been aboard for every Guarana start. “She was travelling very nice along the backside. From the three-eighths pole, I started feeling a little more pressure from Champagne Anyone and I asked her to start moving up and she responded really good.
“She got into full gear when I switched her to the right lead and she gave me everything she had,” Ortiz added. “I wanted her to run a little faster and I tried to surprise her left handed and she overreacted. I was lucky I was clear, because if I wasn’t as clear I would have come down because she did overreact.”
Trainer Chad Brown, Guarana:
“She handled a mile and an eighth well,” Brown said. “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.”
Jockey Javier Castellano, rider of Point of Honor (2nd):
“She [Guarana] came out too quick and intimidated my horse. I did have to stop riding a little bit. She came out pretty far,” Castellano said.