Kid Cruz and Norumbega take opening stakes at Belmont


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Elmont, NY ( - Kid Cruz and Norumbega both came from off the pace to win stakes races Saturday at Belmont Park on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

Trained by Linda Rice, Kid Cruz ran down the leaders in the $150,000 Easy Goer Stakes for his third stakes win this year. The 3-year-old was sent off as the 3-1 second pick in the nine-horse field.

Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Kid Cruz was moved from off the inside to the middle of the track and kicked home to post a 3 1/4-length victory versus other 3- year-olds.

The time for the 1 1/16-mile Easy Goer was 1:41.12 on a fast track.

Kid Cruz, owned by Vina Del Mar Thoroughbreds and Black Swan Stable, pocketed $87,000 for the win, his third of the year and fifth overall. The colt has banked $335,375 in eight career starts.

The colt finished eighth in the Preakness Stakes three weeks ago, but had won the Private Terms and Federico Tesio Stakes earlier this year.

Kid Cruz returned $8.90, $4.10 and $2.90. Legend paid $3.80 and $2.80, and Life in Shambles paid $3.20 to show.

Norumbega, ridden by Joel Rosario, rolled to a neck victory over 5-2 co- favorite Micromanage in the $500,000 Brooklyn Handicap. The 4-year-old gray colt is trained by Shug McGaughey for Stuart S. Janney III.

Norumbega was bet up from 6-1 in the morning line to 10-1 versus six other older horses. At the top of the stretch he was fourth as Micromanage took the lead. He drew along side the leader inside the furlong pole and took the lead in the final yards of the 1 1/2-mile stakes.

The Brooklyn was covered in 2:27.13.

The Brooklyn is Norumbega's first win of the year. He takes home $300,000 to more than double his career earnings. The 4-year-old has won four of 13 lifetime starts for $526,945.

The colt was second in the Skip Away Stakes at Gulfstream Park to begin his season and was coming off an eighth-place result in the Ben Ali in April at Keeneland.

Norumbega paid $22.40, $9.00 and $4.50. Micromanage returned $4.10 and $2.70, Cat Burglar, the 5-2 co-favorite, paid $3.00 to show.

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