Questing crushes field in Alabama


Questing (GB) turned in a dazzling performance Aug. 18 in the $600,000 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, blazing the first half-mile in :46.01 and still pulling away to take the 1 1/4-mile test by nine lengths.

In Lingerie was second and Via Villaggio finished third, while even-money favorite Grace Hall finished fifth behind Zo Impressive in the field of seven fillies and mares.

Sent off as the 2-1 second choice after Delaware Oaks winner Grace Hall, Questing broke on top and showed the way through a quarter in :22.84 before ticking off her fast half-mile and maintaining that speed for three-quarters in 1:09.74 and a mile in 1:35.06.

The 3-year-old Hard Spun filly drifted out in the lane but was kept to the task by jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., who combined to win a second grade I in a row; the duo took the July 21 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks last time out for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The final time was 2:01.29.

Questing, who races for Godolphin and was bred in Kentucky by Darley, is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Chercheuse. She paid $6.40, $4.40, and $3.50. In Lingerie returned $5.60 and $4, while Via Villaggio paid $5.70.

Zo Impressive, who finished fourth, was vanned off after sustaining a fracture to the right front cannon bone.

"It was what we describe as a lateral condylar fracture; that is the bone above the ankle," said Celeste Kunz, on call veterinarian with the American Association of Equine Practitioners. "It was obvious that it was displaced, but it did not fracture the skin. A compression boot was put on, which fits and looks like a ski boot and contains that fracture.

"She was put on the horse ambulance and vanned back to her barn, where Dr. [James] Hunt was going to take X-rays to see the extent of the injury," Kunz continued. "It is a career-threatening injury depending on the extent of the fracture and if any other bones were involved, but it does not appear life-threatening at this point. She was able to walk off the ambulance."