Questing in the Alabama Stakes.

Questing in the Alabama Stakes.

Coglianese Photos

Cotillion Could Be Next for Dazzling Questing

The filly won the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) by nine lengths Aug. 18.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin still was excited the morning after Questing's dazzling nine-length victory in the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 18 at Saratoga Race Course in New York.

The performance earned the 3-year-old Godolphin Racing filly a preliminary Beyer speed figure of 106.

"Since I've been training, that was one of the most impressive performances I've ever had," said McLaughlin Aug. 19. "We won by 20 lengths in Dubai years ago with a horse named Key of Luck. Cigar ran 30 minutes later; we ran 1 1/4 miles on the dirt faster than Cigar did. That was the most impressive, or on the same level. It was like Questing went out in the morning and went 1 1/4 miles on her own."

The victory was the third straight on dirt for the British-bred daughter of Hard Spun , which began her career on the turf in England.

"It could help us trainers in America, because maybe they'll leave more Hard Spuns here," McLaughlin said. "Most of the Hard Spuns went to Europe because he's a son of Danzig. For her, I think the dirt has been a big help because she pulls hard. And pulling on the turf doesn't work, usually. But this was unbelievable."

Questing, who drifted out in the stretch when she won the TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) July 21, took an erratic path through the stretch in the Alabama. McLaughlin said future instructions to jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. would likely be to not touch her with the whip "unless you have to."

After speaking with Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford, McLaughlin said the Cotillion (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Parx Racing Sept. 22 could be the next logical spot for Questing as they mull options in New York for multiple grade I winner It's Tricky and recent allowance winner Dance Card that could include the Beldame Invitational (gr. I) for fillies and mares Sept. 29 at Belmont Park.

Darley bred Questing, who is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Chercheuse.