No joy for Godolphin flagbearers at Parx
Report: USA, Saturday
Parx (Philadelphia): Cotillion Stakes (Grade 1) 1m½f, dirt, 3yo fillies
GODOLPHIN came unstuck in the States on Saturday when both their star three-year-olds, Questing and Alpha, were beaten at odds-on in million-dollar races in Philadelphia.
The former John Gosden-trained Questing, looking to complete a Grade 1 hat-trick for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, was touched off after an epic stretch battle in the Cotillion.
After trying to make all, she was just beaten by last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies' winner My Miss Aurelia (Steve Asmussen/Corey Nakatani), who took her unbeaten record to six with a hard-fought victory.
Kiaran McLaughlin: left unhappyPICTURE: Unknown
Although 2-5 favourite Questing had an easy lead and set sensible fractions in the Cotillion, it should be remembered that she was giving 7lb to her rival, who scored by a short head on only her second start of the year after a nine-month layoff owing to a shin injury.
McLaughlin also questioned the dryness of the track, which seemed to be playing against front-runners.
"I was very upset it was dry, ridiculous track," McLaughlin said, speaking to the Daily Racing Form.
"We looked great going along in 50 to the half, but you know 50 for the half is not normal for Grade 1 horses and we had to give her 7lb. Obviously it's a tough beat but she's a good one."
The pair will doubtless meet again, this time at level weights, in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic.
My Miss Aurelia, the 9-5 second choice, stopped the clock in 1m44.54s and returned $5.60 to win.
Also on Saturday
Parx (Philadelphia) Pennsylvania Derby (Grade 2) 1m1f, dirt, 3yo
Weight also played a part here in another odds-on reverse for Godolphin as Travers dead-heater Alpha finished off the board in this $1m event behind 19-1 outsider Handsome Mike (Leandro Mora/Irad Ortiz), who was getting 10lb from the market leader.
West Virginia Derby winner Macho Macho took second from Golden Ticket, who shared the Travers with Alpha, only sixth here.