Kid Cruz, ridden by Julian Pimentel, wins the $100,000 Private… (Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey…)
Kid Cruz rallies to win Private Terms Stakes
Kid Cruz charged from the back of the pack, wrested the lead in the deep stretch and drew away to win the $100,000 Private Terms Stakes over nine other 3-year-olds Saturday at Laurel Park. Julian Pimentel was aboard the Linda Rice trainee, who was claimed in November after breaking his maiden. The son of Lemon Drop Kid covered 11/8 miles in 1 minute, 54.82 seconds and paid $10.40. Joint Custody finished second, four lengths back. Matuszak rallied to take third. Baratti, the betting choice, was sixth. "I never thought we would be so far back. I figured we would be in the middle of the pack, but it took me awhile to get him going," Pimentel said. "He wasn't going anywhere, but around the three-eighths pole he kicked in by himself and got rolling." Kid Cruz beat maiden claimers in his second start and was claimed by Rice. He made his season debut in late January with a second-place finish around two turns against allowance runners at Aqueduct. "After we claimed this horse, we evaluated him and thought he was a little immature mentally and detected some slight sensitivity in his left shin so we backed up on him a little, freshened him up," assistant trainer Sam Randazzo said. "He started training very well for his last race and he ran very well that day to just miss by a half a length. His breezes between that effort and today were getting progressively better. Linda thought that the mile and an eighth here at Laurel and his running style would be suited to the Private Terms. I do think he will run further than what he ran today so we could see him in some longer races in the future." Kid Cruz, who is nominated to the Triple Crown series, improved to 2-for-4 lifetime with earnings of $101,375.
Trainer title: With three weeks remaining in the Laurel winter meeting, the battle for top trainer looks as if it will go down to the wire. Hugh McMahon saddled Royal Sparkle ($24) to victory in Saturday's seventh race to move into sole possession of first place with 14 victories, one more than Kieron Magee and Juan Vazquez. Claudio Gonzalez (11) and Mike Trombetta (10) are within striking distance. Trevor McCarthy is poised to win his first career riding title. The 19-year-old apprentice has 40 victories, 12 more than Victor Carrasco. McCarthy has 13 multiple-win days during the meet, which includes Saturday, when he rode two winners.
Shawaryn, Terps beat 2nd-ranked Seminoles, 5-1
Visiting Maryland (9-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) received another strong pitching performance from freshman Mike Shawaryn and added timely hitting to defeat No. 2 Florida State, 5-1, at Dick Howser Stadium to even the series at one game each. Entering Saturday, Shawaryn had not surrendered a run in his last two outings and stretched that streak into the eighth before the Seminoles (11-2, 1-1) got their lone run of the game. In all, Shawaryn pitched a career-best 71/3 innings, holding Florida State's offense to five hits and one earned run while striking out five. He retired eight of the first nine batters he faced and held the Seminoles to three hits through six innings.
Towson: Freshman left-hander Bruce Zimmermann held Penn (0-5) to one earned run on five hits in six innings, leading Towson (8-3) to a 4-2 victory in the second round of the Navy Invitational in Annapolis. Zimmermann walked only one hitter and struck out eight while earning his third straight victory.
At last, Capitals sign top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov
After nearly four years of waiting, general manager George McPhee could barely believe it Saturday night when Evgeny Kuznetsov arrived at Verizon Center to sign his entry-level contract with the Washington Capitals. "It's kind of like seeing the Loch Ness Monster when he walked in," McPhee said. "We've heard of you, but we haven't seen you, and there he was. I found it hard to believe he was standing there after all this. It's a pretty neat feeling that this kid is in the fold. He's a pretty darn good player." Kuznetsov, 21, signed a two-year, entry-level contract that is believed to have an annual base salary of $900,000 — the maximum allowed under the collective bargaining agreement — and could be in the lineup as early as Monday when the Capitals host the rival Pittsburgh Penguins. He is scheduled to skate at the team's practice facility today at 8 a.m. on what is an off day for the rest of the team. Kuznetsov's arrival ends a long quest to bring the touted forward, widely considered one of the top prospects in the world, to North America that lasted longer than the Capitals expected when they drafted the Russian 26th overall in 2010. He has been playing in the Kontinental Hockey League in his home country.
—Katie Carrera, The Washington Post