8th-Churchill Downs, $74,691, Alw (NW3$X)/Opt. Clm ($80,000), 6-4, 3yo/up, f/m, 7f, 1:22.58, sy.
GUARANA (f, 4, Ghostzapper–Magical World, by Distorted Humor), a multiple Grade I-winning ‘TDN Rising Star’, made a successful return to the races Thursday at Churchill, stalking the pace and drawing off to an easy allowance victory to kick off her 4-year-old season. Dominating on debut last April at Keeneland to the tune of a 14 3/4-length romp at 4-5, the bay validated that effort with a scintillating six-length score in the GI Acorn S. at Belmont and stretched out to two turns with a wire-to-wire victory in the GI Coaching Club American Oaks July 21. Making an early move into a wicked pace in the GI Cotillion S. Sept. 21 at Parx, she settled for second behind deep closer Street Band (Istan) and had gone unseen since. Showing five half-mile breezes at Palm Meadows and a local four-furlong move in :48 1/5 (8/44) May 27, Guarana was pounded down to 1-5 against a field lacking other standouts and broke alertly. Settling in second behind a loose leader under Tyler Gaffalione through a :22.67 quarter, she edged closer to the frontrunner going past a :45.21 half and took command at the three-sixteenths pole. Going clear soon after, she was wrapped up by Gaffalione in the final sixteenth to triumph by 5 1/4 lengths. Please Flatter Me (Munnings) completed the exacta. Guarana is a half-sister to Magic Dance (More Than Ready), SW & GSP, $155,883. Hersecond dam, 2005 GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff heroine Pleasant Home (Seeking the Gold), is a full-sister to MGSW/MGISP Country Hideaway and Matlacha Pass, the dam of MGISWs Point of Entry (Dynaformer) and Pine Island (Arch). Lifetime Record: MGISW, 5-4-1-0, $928,268. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Three Chimneys Farm & Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings Inc.; B-Three Chimneys Farm (KY); T-Chad C. Brown.