Cruise controls Conniver Stakes

More Than a Cruise launched a last-to-first finish without jockey Julian Pimentel having to move a muscle in the LR Conniver Stakes (1400m) at Laurel on Saturday.

The daughter of More Than Ready drew away to score by next to four lengths from Celtic Katie (Posse).  “They were going pretty quick up front and she was nice and relaxed at the back,” Pimentel said.  “When I asked her on the turn, she took off!

More Than a Cruise (4f More Than Ready – River Cruise by Not for Love) is the 127th stakes winner by the Vinery champion.  She had finished second in last year’s edition of the Conniver and has been in the money in 11 straight races dating back to August 2012.  Saturday’s black-type type first improves her record to 20: 4-8-3 for earnings of $215,360.

“She always tries – it doesn’t matter where you put her,” trainer Larry Murray said.  “I was happy when she ran second here last year.  This may be her last season – I think she will be a great broodmare.”

Leading Maryland horseman Howard Bender bred More Than a Cruise at his Glade Valley farm.  He also raced her dam River Cruise to a Listed victory in the Twixt Stakes and the Maryland Million Oaks at Laurel Park in 2003.