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Guarana is Ghostzapper's 9th Millionaire With Brilliant Madison S. (G1) Triumph

07.11.2020 -

If the $250,000 Madison Stakes (G1) at Keeneland July 11 is a preview of what is to come at the Lexington oval in the Nov. 7 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1), racing fans may be in for a treat this fall.

Grade 1 winners Guarana and Mia Mischief delivered a compelling battle in the seven-furlong Madison, with Guarana, after being passed midstretch by Mia Mischief, edging her rival by a half-length. The win brought several fist pumps from winning jockey Jose Ortiz, though he was not the only one who deserved to be so excited.

The victory provided trainer Chad Brown with the 100th grade 1 win of his career, all coming since 2011. The Eclipse Award-winning trainer the past four years only began training in 2007. He called the milestone win "near the top" of his many accomplishments.

"It's a whole body of work from 12 1/2 years of training," he said. "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."

The Madison was exciting from start to finish as Guarana somewhat unexpectedly spurted to the lead when the typically speedy Amy's Challenge was wrangled back early. This allowed Guarana to set a relatively easy opening quarter in :22.95 and a half in :45.92 under modest pressure from Mia Mischief.

The victory pushed Guarana's lifetime earnings to $1,078,268 making her Ghostzapper's 9th lifetime millionaire.

The race was harder the rest of the way. Ricardo Santana Jr. sent Mia Mischief after the leader leaving the far turn, moving a half-length ahead with a furlong remaining. But Guarana was resolute, surging back past Mia Mischief in the closing 70 yards. 

"When I hit her left-handed, she responded beautiful and she came back," Ortiz said. "She just kept coming back and coming back, and I'm glad we put her head in front at the end."

The 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper  was timed in 1:21.70, the quickest of 11 editions of the race on dirt. Dr. Zic, who holds the stakes record, ran 1:21.32 on Polytrack, a synthetic surface, in 2010.

The fast performance was nothing new for Guarana. In the Acorn Stakes (G1) last year, she raced a mile at Belmont Park in what was then a stakes-record 1:33.58. 

The Acorn was one of three victories for Guarana last year. She also won the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga Race Course and a spring maiden race in the slop at Keeneland by 14 3/4 lengths. She ended her 3-year-old campaign with a runner-up finish behind Street Band in the 1 1/16-mile Cotillion Stakes (G1) at Parx Racing.

This year, Brown has entered her in one-turn races. Before the Madison, she won a seven-furlong allowance optional claiming race on a sloppy Churchill Downs surface June 4.

She races for Goncalo Torrealba's Three Chimneys Farm and Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings.

"I'm just so happy for the ownership group, especially Mr. Torrealba, the original sole owner of the horse and the breeder," Brown said. "I've been associated with him and his family and horses for 17 years now, going back to (being an assistant to trainer) Bobby Frankel.
"To (get the milestone) 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."

Mia Mischief, who took the Humana Distaff Stakes (G1) in May 2019 at Churchill Downs in her most prestigious achievement, delivered one of her best performances and fell just short. She finished 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Bell's the One in third.

Bred in Kentucky by Three Chimneys, Guarana is the second foal out of the Distorted Humor mare Magical World. Her More Than Ready half sister, Magic Dance, won last year's Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs and later was third in the Adirondack Stakes (G3) at Saratoga. 

- edited from www.bloodhorse.com

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