Kant Hurry Love successfully defends her title in $125K Dancin Renee
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Jun 23, 2024
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Kant Hurry Love successfully defends her title in $125K Dancin Renee

by Keith McCalmont

Ken Wheeler Jr.’s Kant Hurry Love was hustled to the front by jockey Trevor McCarthy and never looked back en route to a sharp title defense in Sunday’s $125,000 Dancin Renee, a six-furlong sprint for older New York-bred fillies and mares, at Belmont at the Big A.

Trained by David Duggan, the 5-year-old Kantharos bay responded well to the addition of blinkers, staving off the late bid of Leeloo and 1-2 mutuel favorite Sterling Silver to score a three-quarter length win. The victory improved on a nose score over Grannys Connection in this event last year when contested at Belmont Park.

Kant Hurry Love had hit the board in a pair of starts this year here under McCarthy, finishing third in the state-bred Broadway in February and a close second defeated a nose by Hot Fudge in the open-company Correction on March 9.

"It was a very unique performance. We were very nervous about how the blinkers would affect her off a good run,” Duggan said. “Obviously, at this stage, we don't have to worry about that. She got loose on the lead and got very comfortable. It made a big difference.

"Last race, that was a tough race beaten by a very good filly [Hot Fudge],” Duggan continued. “She showed up against her own company today. We beat Sterling Silver at our game, not her game, at seven-eighths she is a better filly I think."

Kant Hurry Love was hustled out of post 2 to take command, zipping through hand-timed splits of 22.28 seconds and 44.95 over the fast main track under pressure from the Kendrick Carmouche-piloted Majestic Return. She opened up a 3 1/2-length lead at the stretch call and dug in gamely to turn back the outside rally from Leeloo under Hall of Famer Joel Rosario and the rail charge from Sterling Silver with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano at the helm.

“We were rolling right along. On paper, Kendrick and I were the speed and with the blinkers on, I wanted to really hustle her,” McCarthy said. “She broke good. I hustled her out of there and kind of had to earn it a little more than I thought.

“When we turned for home, I let her open it up a little bit and try and put some distance on Javier and get the jump on them,” McCarthy added. “She had been waiting on horses a little bit and that's why we put the blinkers on. When she felt Javier inside and she surged again just inside the last 70 yards. It was a great performance by her."

Kant Hurry Love stopped the clock in a final time of 1:10.11 for the three-quarter length win with Leeloo besting Sterling Silver by the same margin for place. It was 5 1/2-lengths back to Majestic Return with Security Code and Captainsdaughter rounding out the order of finish.

Rosario said the Ignacio Correas, IV-trained Leeloo, who arrived from a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Winning Colors in May at Churchill Downs, performed admirably in defeat.

“It looked like for a second we were going to get home, but that horse was fast in front and kept moving forward to run a big race,” Rosario said. “Nothing to take away from my filly, she ran well. That horse was fast in front."

Sterling Silver had made her last two starts sprinting seven furlongs in Grade 1 company, finishing fourth in the Madison in April at Keeneland and fifth last out in the Derby City Distaff on May 4 at Churchill Downs.

Castellano said Sterling Silver, who was making her first start for Hall of Famer Bill Mott, couldn’t overcome the swift splits while cutting back to six furlongs on a fast track.

"They went fast but they didn't come back to me at all,” Castellano said. “It set up perfect with the speed with those two horses [Kant Hurry Love and Majestic Return] one-two, but the track is fast.”

Duggan indicated that Kant Hurry Love will now target the $125,000 Union Avenue Handicap, a six-furlong sprint for state-bred mares 3-years-old and up on August 9 at Saratoga Race Course. Kant Hurry Love finished second to Grannys Connection in last year's Union Avenue.

Bred by Dr. John M. McDermott and Laura G. McDermott, Kant Hurry Love banked $68,750 in victory while improving her record to 22-6-8-5. She returned $11.20 for a $2 win bet.

Live racing resumes Thursday at Belmont at the Big A with a nine-race card. First post is 1:35 p.m. Eastern.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the Belmont at the Big A spring/summer meet on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.

NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Belmont at the Big A, and the best way to bet every race of the spring/summer meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.

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