Questing seized control of the three-year-old filly division with her smashing win in the Grade I $600,000 Alabama Stakes Saturday. She left little doubt who the best filly in the country is.
“It appears that way right now. She’s definitely the best 3-year-old filly in America on the dirt,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “I was thinking [the pace] was too fast, but I liked the way she was doing it. I looked behind her, and a lot of them were riding hard to keep up. I was nervous about the fractions, but she was doing it the right way.”
Questing’s winning time for the 1 ¼-mile was 2:01.29. She outlasted In Lingerie, Via Villagio, Zo Impressive, Grace Hall, Sea Island and Uptown Bertie.
Prior to the Alabama, the Grade I $600,000 Sword Dancer Invitational on the turf for older horses was taken by Point of Entry in a time of 2:26.40.
He beat Al Khali and Brilliant Speed.
“[Jockey John Velazquez] said a horse about fell and he had to go back to the inside,” said winning trainer Shug McGaughey. “When he found the seam at the quarter pole, it was over. I was very pleased with the trip. I told him if the pace is fast, you’ll know where you’ll be, and if it’s slow, he’ll take you where he wants to go.”
The rest of the field was as follows: Newsdad, Tahoe Lake, Hailstone, Center Divider, Game Ball and Turbo Compressor.
The opener was won by Cybertron ($27.80) going six furlongs on the dirt in 1:09.14. Leroidessioux and Grey Foose were second and third.
Sonofasamurai ($15.40) won going 8 ½ furlongs on the turf in 1:44.60 with Elmutahid and Lemon Drop Dream following.
Race 3 was won by Raffie’s Factor ($10.80) going 5 ½ furlongs on the dirt in 1:04.99. Seghesio and Inquest rounded out the ticket.
Violence, the classy debut colt, won his first career start going seven furlongs in 1:22.91 ($3.60). Titletown Five and Orb came in second and third.
Race 5 went to Nelson Avenue on the turf in a time of 1:43.95 seconds for the 8 1/2 –furlong distance. He paid $10.40.
Colonel Bill ($6.40) won the sixth race going 8 ½ furlongs on the turf in 1:41.82. Hardrocker and Kathy’s Kitten came in behind
Shrewd One was the victor going seven furlongs in 1:21.86 ($7.40) for jockey Joe Bravo. Hello Lover and Good Morning Diva came in second and third.
Strong Impact with Javier Castellano aboard won the 5 ½ furlong turf spring in 1:01.44. He paid $7.40 for the win. Marquet Cat and Count Catamount came in second and third.
The last race on the card, a 1 1/16th-mile turf race, was won by Ladywell Court ($6.50) in a time of 1:44.04. Love Stanza Chance and Schillerette followed.
Brendan O'Meara is the Author of "Six Weeks in Saratoga: How Three-Year-Old Filly Rachel Alexandra Beat the Boys and Became Horse of the Year"
PHOTO CREDIT: NYRA / Adam Coglianese
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