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Kid Cruz Turns In Final Travers Breeze (Video)

Grade 3 Dwyer winner Kid Cruz hit Saratoga Race Course's main track at approximately at 7:15 a.m. on Monday before turning in his final breeze for the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers, traveling four furlongs in 49.19 seconds while working in company with A Marked Man.


Kid Cruz, a four-time stakes winner who was third in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 26 at Saratoga, began the work on the inside a neck in front of A Marked Man. He entered the stretch on even terms with his stablemate before finishing approximately a half-length in front. A Marked Man, a maiden, needed urging to keep up with Kid Cruz during the gallop out.


"He went perfect. I was very happy," said Linda Rice, who trains Kid Cruz for Vina Del Mar Thoroughbreds and Black Swan Stable. "I told my [exercise rider] I was looking for :49 [for a half-mile] and [a five-eighths gallop-out in] 1:02, and he hit it right on the money. I was happy with it."


Rice said Kid Cruz usually needs a workmate to exert himself when he trains.


"I've always breezed him in company," said Rice. "It just puts him on the bridle a little better. He's a little lazy. I certainly didn't want to change that today coming into the race."


Kid Cruz, claimed for $50,000 out of a maiden win last November at Aqueduct Racetrack, will be the first Travers starter for Rice, who won the 2009 Saratoga training title.


"For me, I've been training here at Saratoga for 20 years and have had a lot of great [memories]," said Rice. "My first Grade 1 win was at Saratoga with Things Change as a 2-year-old. The long term goal, I've always aspired to compete in and win the Travers. Going into it, I'm real excited about that. Anytime you have a 3-year-old that wins four stakes races as a 3-year-old, you're happy about it no matter where you got them."


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