Notes & Quotes From the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks: Guarana

(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.

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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