Champion Questing retired, booked to Bernardini

Questing, the champion 3-year-old filly for 2012, has been retired, Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation announced early Friday.

The daughter of Hard Spun notched spectacular wins in the Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks and the Grade I Alabama Stakes at Saratoga last season, winning the later by nine lengths after setting opening fractions of :22.84, :46.01, and 1:09.74. The filly had a minor chip successfully removed from a hind ankle earlier this winter after being pulled up in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic last November, but has developed a lingering case of pneumonia while preparing for a return to training.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin called Questing’s victory in the Alabama Stakes “one of the most impressive performances I have ever witnessed.” It was the fastest running of that race since 1990.

Bred in England by Darley, Questing will join the American broodmare band of Sheikh Mohammed, where she is scheduled to visit Bernardini. She retires with four wins from 11 starts and $876,876 in earnings.