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Manoel R. Cruz
Birth Date: Wednesday, May 20, 1970
Birth Place: Ninas Gerais, Brazil
|2011 Gulfstream Record|
Career: He won the Shake You Down last winter aboard Close It out. Cruz finished fifth in the spring standings at Churchill Downs in wins (24) and eighth in money won. He won the Dogwood (G3) with Salty Strike. Led Calder jockeys at 2010 summer meet with $2.7 million in earnings...Popular journeyman earned his way to the Kentucky Derby in 2008 as the regular rider of Hutcheson Stakes winner and Florida Derby runner-up Smooth Air ... Cruz has finished among Gulfstream’s Top 15 riders each year since 2003. Prior to teaming with Smooth Air, his biggest Gulfstream wins included the 2006 Shirley Jones Handicap on Splendid Blendid, the 2007 Sunshine Millions Dash with Storm in May, and with Istan in the Artax Handicap on the 2007 Florida Derby Day program. He was the leading rider at the 2006 Calder meet with over 197 wins and in excess of $4 million in earnings. It was the second straight summer he won 197 times at Calder, the second-best in the track’s 35-year history behind Eddie Castro’s 214 in 2006. Other: Grew up in Brazil riding jumpers on the farm where his father is the assistant trainer for a show and racehorse operation. Rode his first race when he was 15. He graduated at age 16 from jockey school, a requirement for all apprentice riders in Brazil.