Questing's amazing brilliance during the summer did not escape the Eclipse voters, despite her seemingly late-season decline and the return to top form by last year's 2-year-old filly champ My Miss Aurelia. They key word is seemingly, as Questing's final two starts simply could not be held against her. And for My Miss Aurelia, it was too little too late.
Those who felt Questing was deserving of the award had plenty of ammo in their arsenal. The Godolphin filly began her run for the title by winning the grade I TVG Coaching Club American Oaks by four lengths, easily defeating Zo Impressive, who was coming off a victory in the grade I Mother Goose Stakes, and In Lingerie, coming off a victory in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II).
Prior to that, the daughter of Hard Spun - Chercheuse, by Seeking the Gold won an allowance/optional claimer at Belmont Park by near four lengths, earning a whopping 105 Beyer speed figure.
Questing, bred by Darley and owned by Godolphin Racing, made it three straight in the Alabama Stakes (gr. I), turning in one of the most brilliant performances by a filly in the last several decades. Setting a blistering pace of :46.01, 1:09.60, and 1:35.06 going 1 1/4 miles, she still was able to draw clear in the stretch, despite bearing out repeatedly, to win by nine lengths in a sharp 2:01.29. Finishing second was In Lingerie, who would defeat older fillies and mares in the grade I Juddmonte Spinster Stakes in her next start.
In the Cotillion Stakes (gr. I) at Parx Racing, Questing was dropping back from 1 1/4 mile to 1 1/16 miles over a dead track that was not favoring speed. One would expect her to regress off her performance in the Alabama, yet she still battled gamely and was beaten a head by the fresher My Miss Aurelia, while conceding seven pounds to the winner. Her subsequent Ladies Classic performance obviously was a throw-out, as she never finished the race and was vanned off with an injury.
Although her overall record reads seven starts and only three victories, her first two races were on the grass, so her three-for-five on dirt, with one second, is impressive enough to be worthy of championship honors.
|My Miss Aurelia||102|
|Believe You Can||17|
|Lady of Shamrock||5|