There was no salsa dance for the horse named after New York Giants’ star receiver Victor Cruz after the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes yesterday in Baltimore. Kid Cruz, trained by Linda Rice and ridden by Julian Pimentel, finished eighth in the middle jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown.
After besting the field in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, California Chrome, the pre-race favorite, won the second leg of the Triple Crown before a packed house of more than 120,000 spectators at the famed Pimlico Race Course. California Chrome will attempt to become the 12th horse to win horse racing’s Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes in New York on June 7th.
After the race, Rice indicated yesterday that Kid Cruz may also compete at the Belmont after finishing out of the money at the Preakness. In post-race comments, she said, “I was a little disappointed, but he was running at the end of it. He just had too much to do. I’m also thrilled that we have a Triple Crown in the making, so that’s really good for racing. I think we still may go after the Belmont because the distance is in his favor. This was a pretty good challenge for him and he did pretty well.”
Rice was bidding to become the first female trainer to win the Preakness.
According to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, Victor Cruz knows of the horse named after him, “I’m very well aware, yes. Unfortunately because of my schedule, I won’t be able to go, but I’ve known about the horse for a couple years now. So it’s kind of exciting to see it kind of actually get to this point. Hopefully he wins,” Cruz acknowledged earlier this week at the United Way of New York City’s Gridiron Gala.
Wide receiver Cruz even took to Twitter to voice support for his namesake:
Let's go Kid Cruz! #Preakness
— Victor Cruz (@TeamVic) May 17, 2014
As far as the race was concerned, Pimentel commented, “We were really far back on the outside. It took so long to get going. When we started going, he got going pretty good down the lane, but it was just too late.”
Unfortunately for fans of Victor Cruz and the New York Football Giants, Pimentel’s comments could have applied to Big Blue’s 2013 season as well.
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