Click here for a replay of the race and interviews with jockey Jose Ortiz
and Whit Beckman, assistant to trainer Chad Brown
Three Chimneys Farm and Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings’ Guarana fought back along the rail after being passed in midstretch by Mia Mischief to win the Madison by a half-length and give trainer Chad Brown his 100th Grade 1 victory.
Ridden by Jose Ortiz, Guarana covered the 7 furlongs on a fast main track in 1:21.70. It is the second Madison victory for Brown and Ortiz who teamed up to win the 2017 running with Paulassilverlining.
Guarana led the field of eight through fractions of :22.95 and :45.92 with Mia Mischief in close pursuit. In the upper stretch, Ricardo Santana Jr. drew alongside the leader and by the eighth pole had opened a narrow advantage only to have Guarana fight back inside the sixteenth pole to snatch the victory.
The victory was worth $150,000 and increased Guarana’s lifetime bankroll to $1,078,268 with a record of 6-5-1-0. It was the third Grade 1 victory for Guarana who took the Acorn and Coaching Club of America Oaks in 2019.
Guarana is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Ghostzapper out of the Distorted Humor mare Magical World.
Guarana returned $3, $2.60 and $2.10. Mia Mischief returned $5 and $3 and finished 3¼ lengths in front of Bell’s the One, who paid $2.60 to show under Corey Lanerie.
It was another half-length back to Wildwood’s Beauty, who was followed in order by Sally’s Curlin, Unique Factor, Amy’s Challenge and Diamond Crazy.
Chad Brown on his 100th career Grade 1 victory: “It’s right up there near the top. It’s a whole body of work from 12½ years now of training. It has to do with my team of co-workers, owners, and horses both present and past. They all contributed to the 100 Grade 1s. God willing if everything stays intact, we’ll work on the next 100. But we’re going to enjoy this for now.”
On the Madison: “It unfolded how I feared with Mia Mischief having the better post on the outside of us and being able to hound us a bit. I thought turning for home that the post really did us in this race and I was started to get a little disappointed. But I could see at the sixteenth pole that she was finding her stride again and I think 7 (furlongs) is maybe a tick far for the other filly. We were able to come back on her.
“(Guarana) showed her heart. She showed that she’s a very special horse, which we’ve known for a long time. I’m just so happy for the ownership group, especially Mr. Torrealba the original sole owner of the horse and the breeder. I’ve been associated with him and his family and horses for 17 years now going back to Bobby Frankel.
“To (get the 100th Grade 1 win) with one of his horses is really special. He’s a real fine man. Very loyal. He was the first one to call me and congratulate me.”
“To get another win over Keeneland’s track ahead of the Breeders’ Cup is very important too. And my team has done a really good job. Our division in Palm Meadows had (Guarana) all winter and prepared her for Churchill. I left her with my assistant Whit Beckman and the Churchill division, and they’ve done a terrific job. I’m really proud of them.”
Trainer Neil Pessin on third-place finisher Bell’s the One: “The race didn’t set up for us. They went the first half very slow for this track today, and then they finished off strong. This keeps us on course for the Humana Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs and then the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland.”
On racing at Keeneland: “It is weird with no fans, but I am grateful that we can race here or anywhere. We have an opportunity that not all businesses have.”