09/20/2012 4:17PM

Parx Racing: Questing faces only three rivals in $1 million Cotillion

Tom Keyser
Questing convincingly wins the Alabama, her second Grade 1 of the Saratoga meet. She'll face only three rivals in the Cotillion.

It would have been far-fetched just a few months ago to think that the presence of Questing in a $1 million race would be largely responsible for that race drawing just a four-horse field.

But such is the case for Saturday’s Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx where Questing will look to continue to build her r è sum é for a 3-year-old filly championship when she takes on just three opponents in the 1 1/16-mile race.

“I didn’t think that was the case earlier in the year, but obviously after winning two Grade 1s at Saratoga, and the way she did it, I could see it being a smaller field, but I was surprised to only see four,” said Kiaran McLaughlin, who trains Questing for Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum’s Godolphin Stable.

Questing’s competition does include the undefeated My Miss Aurelia, last year’s 2-year-old filly champion who won her only start this year in a 6 1/2-furlong overnight stakes.

The Cotillion is the co-feature on a 12-race card at Parx that also includes the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby for 3-year-old males going 1 1/8 miles and the $300,000 Gallant Bob for 3-year-old sprinters.

After sputtering on turf in allowance races at Gulfstream and Belmont, Questing was moved to the dirt by McLaughlin on June 24 where she won a first-level allowance by 3 3/4 lengths at Belmont. Questing followed that up with front-running tour-de-force victories in the Coaching Club American Oaks, which she won by 4 1/4 lengths, and the Alabama, which she won by nine.

In both races, Questing ducked out in the stretch, but that seemingly was from the whip.

[PARX RACING: Get PPs for Pennsylvania Derby and Cotillion]

“Hopefully, that’s from the stick and we will ask Irad to keep his stick down until he needs it,” said McLaughlin, referring to jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.

The short field isn’t likely to impact how Questing will run, as she figures to be on or near the lead.

“We’re going to break running and probably Corey Nakatani [on My Miss Aurelia] is going to be close to us and we’re going to see how it goes,” McLaughlin said.

Questing has remained in Saratoga since the Alabama and has continued to train nicely over the synthetic surface at the Godolphin training center.

“She continues to train very well, looks fabulous,” McLaughlin said.

Questing is the 124-pound highweight and will be spotting seven pounds to My Miss Aurelia, two to Dixie Strike, who beat males in the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie, and 10 to Moment in Dixie.

My Miss Aurelia went 4 for 4 as a 2-year-old, capped by a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in her first start around two turns. She was sidelined due to a shin injury and didn’t return to the races until August. My Miss Aurelia, trained by Steve Asmussen, won the Mandy’s Gold Stakes at Saratoga after breaking poorly and lugging in because she didn’t change leads properly.

She is stretching out to 1 1/16 miles in the Cotillion and facing a top-quality filly in Questing, but her connections aren’t ducking.

“She did it last year going from three one-turn races into a two-turn race and it was a very demanding track that day to go two turns,” said George Bolton, who co-owns My Miss Aurelia with Stonestreet Stables. “We’re not in the business of ducking horses, we’re in the business of running our horses where we think they belong and Steve thinks she’s coming into the race in good shape.”

Dixie Strike, trained by Mark Casse, has won on dirt, turf, and synthetic. In her only start on dirt, she beat Canadian-bred males in the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie. Ramon Dominguez has picked up the mount.

Moment in Dixie, trained by Jimmy Toner, won her first two starts in front-running fashion before stumbling badly at the start of the Serena’s Song Stakes at Monmouth, in which she finished second. Most recently she finished second in the Smart Guest Stakes at Saratoga.

Jose Lezcano rides Moment in Dixie from the rail.

Earle Forbes More than 1 year ago
DRF should refund its customers who bought PPs online for today 9/22/2012. I spent $14.95 and could not access the formulator or the classic PPs. Wont be back till they do right to the people who they screwed today
Earle Forbes More than 1 year ago
DRF should refund its customers who bought PPs online for today 9/22/2012. I spent $14.95 and could not access the formulator or the classic PPs. Wont be back till they do right to the people who they screwed today
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
Bold Prediction........ After today, Questing will be pointed to the Breeders Cup CLASSIC, not Ladies Classic. Yes, shes that good. You heard it here.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
This is going to be a laugher. I know you folks love these bogus Beyer numbers but Questing's Ragozins make her the superior horse by far. My Miss Aurelia tries to run with Questing but labors and get this......hold on, hold on, ends up finishing last of four.
Jack Twee More than 1 year ago
richard montgomery More than 1 year ago
Shoulda been a six horse field at least...left 50k on the table to the fifth and sixth place finishers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont forget to bet a trifecta or superfecta at Parx. They only have a 30% takout. Or maybe you want to try a pick 3 or a pick 4. Those takeouts are a mere 26%. Are you kidding me? Keeneland and Churchill don't have a single takeout over 19%. Don't support a track that takes out 30% and 26% on bets. That's a slap in the face.
Jack Twee More than 1 year ago
I'll be betting Monmouth pick 4 and pk 5 with its 15% takeout.
jon g More than 1 year ago
I was going to play Parx heavy today until i saw bunch of scratches combined with that takeout. horse racing is turning into quite the joke. i can't wait til they shutter all hese minor legue tracks
Jack Twee More than 1 year ago
You can't find the takeout anywhere on the parx website.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
You dont need to, its on this one. Go up top, "entries", "track information", Parx, scroll.
Jack Twee More than 1 year ago
I guess the tracks don't need to show entries,results or anything else.Stupid.
Francisco Parra More than 1 year ago
a lot of racing fans this afternoon will be in the wrong way when Questing devastating the field in the cottilion stakes with superstar puertorrican young rider ird otiz jr, irad ortiz jr this afternoon and in the near future will be close a lot of fans mouths
Albert More than 1 year ago
If Awesome Feather shows up for the Breeders Cup the race is hers. So this will be these horses Breeders Cup. Questing is overrated and will fail just like all favorites than run in this race
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No way Awesome Feather wins a Breeders Cup race. Don't waste your money.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
Mark my words friend, Awesome Feather's connections will NEVER, I said it, NEVER enter her with Questing. Awesome Feather runs these BS 85k overnight stakes.
James Espinoza More than 1 year ago
Nakatani doesn't lose the big races . My Miss Aurelia gets a seven pound break and the services of the most cunning jockey in the business . Advantage Assmussen , Nakatani and My Miss Aurelia !
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
Good luck with that.
jon g More than 1 year ago
Good race to watch,but Parx has a fantastic betting card,barring scratches and inclement weather. On of the best I've seen this year for BETTING purposes.
Jack Twee More than 1 year ago
I like the 30% takeout!
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
jon g More than 1 year ago
lots of scratches. i'm out