Questing Finds Grade I Win in CCA Oaks
Godolphin Racing's Questing earned the first grade I win of her career and gave 19-year-old jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. the same when she took the $300,000 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) by 4 1/4 lengths at Saratoga Race Course July 21 (VIDEO).
Questing rolled off the turn in command through three quarters in 1:12.20, and although she drifted out in the lane while clocking a mile in 1:37.16, the closers could not get to her. She slipped under the wire in the center of the track in a final time of 1:50.30.
"She didn't run so well on the turf twice," McLaughlin said of Questing, who was fourth and fifth in allowance events on the grass at Gulfstream Park and Belmont Park earlier in the season. "We switched her to the dirt, and now she's 2-for-2 for us on the dirt. It was a great win, a grade I win for Godolphin. It's wonderful for Sheikh Mohammed, and we're so proud to have her."
Questing, the 7-2 third choice in a field of six, returned $9.80, $5.70, and $3.70 while Zo Impressive paid $3.80 and $2.60 and In Lingerie brought $2.40. Disposablepleasure, Funny Proposition, and Yara completed the order of finish.
The 1-2 runners completed a Hard Spun exacta; Zo Impressive, who won the June 23 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont last out, is also by the Darley sire.
"She ran well, but the winner was more impressive today," trainer Tom Albertrani said of Zo Impressive. "We were second best. We took a shot at her at the quarter-pole. It looked like we were going to get by her at one point, but she broke away from us again."
The $600,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 18 was mentioned as a likely target by both McLaughlin and Albertrani.
Bred in Great Britain by Darley out of the Seeking the Gold mare Chercheuse, Questing placed in a pair of group III races in England and was fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) last season as a 2-year-old.
With the CCA Oaks score she improved her career record to 3-1-1 from eight starts, for earnings of $314,876. It was her second straight victory. She had won a June 24 allowance optional claimer going a mile at Belmont Park by 3 3/4 lengths.
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