Pettit's Quest out-gamed Red Star Rose on the outside in a rally to the wire yesterday and won the $60,000 Rollicking Stakes by a neck at Laurel Park.
In the process, both beat the heavy favorite, 2-to-5 Cayman Cat, in the seven-furlong test, which is restricted to Maryland-bred 2-year-olds.
Cayman Cat finished third, a half-length behind Red Star Rose.
It was the first stakes victory for talented apprentice jockey Jozbin Santana.
"I was a little nervous because we had horses all round us," Santana recalled after the race. "When I finally found my space, he just started running."
Trainer Fran Campitelli will point Pettit's Quest toward the Maryland Juvenile Championship the day after Christmas.
"He's been a little slow to mature," Campitelli said of his charge. "But he'll get his act together. I think he's going to make a very good 3-year-old."
RACING DATES: The Maryland Racing Commission has approved the following live racing dates for 1999:
Jan. 1-Feb. 21 and Feb. 23-March 28 at Laurel.
March 29-June 20 at Pimlico.
June 21-July 18 and July 19-Aug. 27 at Laurel.
Aug. 28-Sept. 6 at Timonium.
Sept. 7-26 at Pimlico.
Sept. 27-Dec. 31 at Laurel.
May 31 and one fall date at Fair Hill.
Pub Date: 12/06/98