Art Of The Hunt Wins Competitive Squan Song Stakes

Art Of The Hunt Wins Competitive Squan Song Stakes

LAUREL, MD. 11-12-11---Rosalee Davison’s Art of the Hunt was fifth at the top of the stretch but was altered six-wide for racing room by jockey Luis Garcia and got to the wire first in a competitive $60,000 Squan Song Stakes at Laurel Park Saturday afternoon. The seven-furlong test drew 10 Maryland-bred fillies and mares who have never won a stakes race.

The 3-year-old filly covered the distance in 1:25.33, winning by a half-length over a game Lily Quatorze. Campaign Vows finished third. The winner paid $9.60 and topped a $54 exacta and $597.40 trifecta.

“She was just waiting for me to ask,” Garcia said. “I knew I had a lot of horse but needed to find a hole because the wire was getting closer and closer. It opened at the right time and we got there.”

Frannie Campitelli trains the daughter of Lion Hearted, who came into the Squan Song off of two solid efforts last month: a fourth place finish in the Maryland Million Oaks and a late closing, runner-up finish in the Twixt Stakes three weeks ago.

“She came out of the last race exceptionally well and made us point for this spot and now might be the time to get the stakes win,” Campitelli said. “I was getting a little worried because every time Luis moved the hole closed but when she got free, she made a nice run.”

Art of the Hunt is now 4-of-12 lifetime with earnings of $114,870.


Joshua Navarro injured his left shoulder in a bizarre spill in Saturday’s third race. The 20-year-old rider was knocked off his mount, Queenameina, by jockey Matthew Rispoli, who lost his balance aboard Sweet Energy around the first turn. Navarro was then kicked in the shoulder by Racyn With Gracyn as he rolled onto the Laurel Park turf course.

Rispoli regained his balance on Sweet Energy and guided her to a second place finish behind 4-5 favorite River Fancy, but was disqualified to 11th and last by the Maryland Racing Commission stewards Phil Grove, John Burke and Adam Campola.

“We were just talking to Mario Pino,” Burke said two races after the incident. “Between the four of us we probably have 200 years of experience and none of us have ever seen anything like that before. As far as the kid (Rispoli), that was self preservation. There was no intent. He lost his balance and was just trying to right himself. Unfortunately by doing so he knocked Joshua off his horse. We don’t hold him accountable.”