Kid Cruz, who was under consideration for a possible start in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), tops the field of nine 3-year-olds entered in the $150,000 Easy Goer Stakes on the Belmont Park June 7 undercard.
The son of Lemon Drop Kid , campaigned by Vina Del Mar Thoroughbreds and Black Swan Stable, won the Private Terms Stakes and Federico Tesio Stakes, both at Pimlico Race Course, before finishing a flat eighth in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) victory of Triple Crown contender California Chrome.
The Tesio was run at the same 1 1/16-mile distance as the Easy Goer, which is the second race on the June 7 Belmont card. The 121-pound highweight, Kid Cruz will break from 3 post under Irad Ortiz Jr.
"Frankly, he didn't perform at Pimlico," trainer Linda Rice said at the time of the decision to pass on the Belmont with the Kid. "It was a flat effort on his part. We'll just look for an easy race for him to get him back on track. It's a long summer."
Kid Cruz is the lone stakes winner in the Easy Goer field.
Co-highweighted at 117 are Life in Shambles, a Christophe Clement-trained gelding by Broken Vow , and Effinex, a son of Mineshaft who will be racing on the anti-bleeder medication Salix for the first time in his sixth career start.
Owned by Jump Sucker Stable, Life in Shambles has the services of Joel Rosario from the inside post as he seeks his third win in five starts. A maiden and optional claiming/allowance winner at Gulfstream Park, Live in Shambles dueled before finishing a game second to Class Leader in the Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico May 17.
Trained by David Smith for Tri-Bone Stables, Effinex broke his maiden via the disqualification of first-place finisher Shipwrecked in a race for New York-breds at Aqueduct Racetrack March 1. The colt scored his second career victory in an optional claiming/allowance race at Aqueduct March 23.
$150,000 Easy Goer Stakes (Race 2, 12:07 p.m. EDT) 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/16 miles (Dirt)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Life in Shambles (KY), J Rosario, 117, C Clement
2. Souper Lucky (FL), J L Ortiz, 117, T Albertrani
3. Effinex (NY), R Montanez, 117, D J Smith
4. Kid Cruz (KY), I Ortiz, Jr., 121, L Rice
5. Misconnect (KY), J Castellano, 115, T A Pletcher
6. No Surrender (KY), J Bravo, 117, T A Pletcher
7. Legend (KY), L Saez, 115, H J Bond
8. Pass the Coffee (KY), C H Velasquez, 115, N P Zito
9. Howl (KY), J Alvarado, 115, O S Barrera III