Updated on 08/21/2012 2:56PM

Saratoga: $1 million Cotillion may be Questing's next target

Barbara D. Livingston
Questing received a career-best 106 Beyer Speed Figure for her nine-length win in the Alabama.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said he received 52 text messages following Questing’s nine-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga.

“Fifty of them started out with ‘Wow!’ ” McLaughlin said. “That’s what we all felt. Being and doing this all your life to have a performance like that, it was really a wow.”

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 n scoring her nine-length, front-running victory in the Alabama, Questing ascended to the head of the 3-year-old filly division. Earlier in the meet, Questing won the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks by 4 1/4 lengths.

McLaughlin said that Questing would make her next start in the $1 million Cotillion, a race restricted to 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles, at Parx on Sept. 22.

 “It makes the most sense,” said McLaughlin, who also trains the top handicap filly It’s Tricky, who like Questing, is owned by Godolphin Racing.

In the Alabama, Questing ran extremely fast fractions of 22.84 seconds for the quarter, 46.01 for the half, and six furlongs in 1:09.74. Her final clocking of 2:01.29 for 1 1/4 miles was the fastest Alabama since Go For Wand won it in 2:00.80 in 1990. Questing earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 106.

She ducked in and then ducked out in the stretch, mostly shying away from jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.’s whip.

 “When he raised his stick it looked like she ran into it then ran away from it,” McLaughlin said. “After the race she ducked too and it wasn’t all from the stuck but the majority of it is. Obviously, next time we run her it’s don’t pick your stick up unless you have to. We’re not going to say no stick but don’t pick it up and even get ready to use it unless you have to.”

For McLaughlin and Godolphin, it was the third graded stakes victory of the meet. In addition to the two won by Questing, they also won the Grade 2 Jim Dandy with Alpha, who will most likely be the favorite for Saturday’s Travers.

 Trish McLaughlin, Kiaran’s sister-in-law and one of his assistants, had a little message for Alpha Sunday morning.

“I gave Alpha a pat on the nose and said ‘buddy, that filly would have kicked your [butt] on Saturday,” she said.

Zo Impressive slated for surgery

 Zo Impressive, the Alabama fourth-place finisher who suffered a condylar fracture to the cannon bone of her right foreleg, was scheduled to be vanned on Monday to Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., where she will have surgery by mid-week.

 “Considering she’s got a condylar fracture, she’s getting around the stall quite well and is comfortable,” trainer Tom Albertrani said. “We’re very, very fortunate it didn’t spiral up the leg. Hopefully, it’ll be a nice clean operation. She might need a couple of screws.”

 While the injury is one that will likely end Zo Impressive’s racing career, no final decision has been made, Albertrani said.

Grace Hall exam shows mucus in lungs

An endoscopic examination performed on Grace Hall on Saturday night revealed that the filly had “a great deal of mucus” in her lungs, which may have helped explain her fifth-place finish behind Questing.

“That didn’t help things, but boy the day was all about Questing,” trainer Tony Dutrow said. “As impressive an Alabama as you’ll see.”

Dutrow said he didn’t know what was next for Grace Hall, though he did not rule out a rematch with Questing in the Cotillion.

 “We’re not saying we won’t do it, but our filly would have to be going into the race as good as she ever has,” Dutrow said.



GOODWIN More than 1 year ago
An uncommon filly would have been wobbling home in the last eighth after setting those early fractions. She didn't. You cannot take that away from her performance - it was impressive.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
She is just that good. Not Awesome Feather good yet but close. Anybody accusin Kiarian of doping is way off.
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
A really nice filly..would say this was the most "visually impressive" race by any 3 yr old this year...others can argue speed figures.
john deksnis More than 1 year ago
Mr. Hua is certainly correct. Questing didn't deserve that 106 Beyer. 116 would have been more like it. It's been 20 years since a horse ran that fast in The Alabama. And just as long for The Travers, too. And as for Questing being lucky... Huh? Lucky how? She's put together three stellar races in a row. Including two G1s at the most prestigious meet in North America. What, I wonder, would Mr. Hua like to see her do before he's impressed?
Grazyna Mianska More than 1 year ago
One should never under estimate The Boys In Blue's horses.
Tom Hua More than 1 year ago
Yes, I agree. She was so green, lurked out and didn't change leads. And she didn't deserve speed Beyer figure of 106. Enough said. She was lucky to get away yesterday, but not tomorrow, I mean the next races. In summary, Questing is a good filly, but she doesn't have the quality of a champion we can compare to other fillies and mares. End of talk. No bet on WPS on Questing in the future.
JT_OnTheSide More than 1 year ago
It's amazing what some of you will do for attention. Just a ridiculous statement. Guess it worked cause I'm stupid enough to state the obvious with a reply.
Felton Suthon More than 1 year ago
you sound like a sore loser - that was the best effort by any 3yo this year, male or female - she pounded some good fillies into the ground with fast early fractions and she got the job done. Pray tell, sir, just who would be coming to get her late? Secretariat?
Steven Wells More than 1 year ago
You are right I will not be betting WPS on a horse that will be 1-2.
Platano Lajara More than 1 year ago
i could see rate and kick i just think irad should stop whipping her
Platano Lajara More than 1 year ago
and they could b a jockey change 2 ramon or alan or eddie near the breederscup or the cotillion in prax
Bonnie More than 1 year ago
Questing==Will not win another race. this is what happens with doping.
Steven More than 1 year ago
You Bonnie have your opinion. Mine is that comment is just dumb.
Chantal Smithless More than 1 year ago
Are you confusing the trainer of Questing because TONY Dutrow trained Grace Hall who was mentioned in the same article????????? You don't have your facts straight -- and isn't TONY Dutrow the BROTHER of the doper????
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Now Questing just has to beat Miss Aurelia,hopefully in the Cotillion,and on the the Ladies Classic
Platano Lajara More than 1 year ago
did u 4gt about its tricky and awesome feather
Platano Lajara More than 1 year ago
in the ladies classic