Guarana sets G1 Acorn Stakes record in second start
by NYRA Press Office
Making only her second career start, Three Chimneys Farms' homebred Guarana dusted a field of more accomplished 3-year-old fillies on Belmont Stakes Day at Belmont Park, taking command at the top of the stretch and pulling clear through the final furlong to win the Grade 1, $700,000 Acorn by six widening lengths.
Her time for the mile over the fast main track was 1:33.58, eclipsing You's mark of 1:34 set in the 2002 Acorn.
After vying briefly for the early lead, jockey Jose Ortiz took Guarana back and allowed her to settle in third as Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress and Cookie Dough dueled through an opening quarter in a blistering 21.89 seconds with the half going in 43.99.
Moving up on the far turn as Cookie Dough dropped back, Ortiz tipped Guarana to the outside to collar Serengeti Empress at the quarter-pole, and she strode past the front-runner to take command in midstretch and was never threatened to the wire.
"She broke great," said Ortiz, who took himself off the Oaks winner to ride Guarana. "I thought the moment she broke she could make the lead but then I saw that the 1 and 3 went on and I was able to drop in behind them. It was the first time she dropped behind. Her first race she went wire to wire, but she's very classy. All I can say is 'wow!'''
The victory came just seven weeks after her debut at Keeneland, in which she rolled to an eye-popping 14 ¾-length score in the slop, covering 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.43.
"She reminds me a lot of her father [Ghostzapper], so it's extra special to me having worked so closely with Ghostzappper and learning under Bobby [Frankel]," said winning trainer Chad Brown. "To have his daughter who is equally as brilliant, hopefully, under our care is an incredible feeling. I'm a very lucky guy."
Sent off as the 9-5 favorite, Guarana returned $5.80 and with the winner's purse of $375,000 now has amassed $422,400.
Serengeti Empress held on for second, with Jeltrin closing to finish third, 2 ¼ lengths back. Ce Ce checked in fourth, followed by Queen of Beas, Proud Emma, Bell's the One, Cookie Dough and Fancy Dress Party.