05/07/2014 11:57AM

Preakness: Pimentel to ride Kid Cruz

Email
Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Kid Cruz scores by four lengths in the Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park in March.

Julian Pimentel, who has ridden Kid Cruz to a pair of minor stakes victories, will keep the mount aboard the colt for the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes, trainer Linda Rice confirmed Wednesday.

“Frankly, he knows the horse; he’s run well for him. I like the fact he’s riding that track,” said Rice, who will be making her Preakness debut.

Rice also mentioned that when her owners, Steven Brandt and Richard Boylan, decided to allow Black Swan Stable – from which they claimed Kid Cruz – to buy back into the horse, it was “good karma. I feel the same way about Pimentel.”

Rice said Kid Cruz likely won’t have a published workout between now and the Preakness.

“When I breezed him for the Wood Memorial, he came up with a sore shoulder,” said Rice, who had to scratch Kid Cruz from the Wood. “I think I’ll just give him long, strong gallops up to it … Prior to the Private Terms, I skipped a breeze because I thought he was light and didn’t want to lose any more body weight on him.”

Kid Cruz rallied from more than 20 lengths back to win the 1 1/8-mile Private Terms by four lengths in March at Laurel Park.

::2014 PREAKNESS STAKES: Latest news, video, and more

“I don’t have to breeze him to run a mile and three-sixteenths,” Rice said. “I think he just has the natural ability to get the distance.”

Rice said Kid Cruz likely would van down to Pimlico following training Monday.

• With Ride On Curlin getting yet another new jockey, Steve Hobby is teasing fellow trainer Billy Gowan with this line: “Whose Ride On Curlin is it, anyway?”

Joel Rosario has the mount for the Preakness, which will make him the sixth different jockey for Ride On Curlin. The colt will be making his 11th career start. He ran seventh in the Derby under Calvin Borel and made his first post-Derby appearance Wednesday when galloping a mile.

– additional reporting by Marty McGee