Kant Hurry Love defends title in Dancing Renee

Sunday, June 23rd, 2024

Kant Hurry Love holds off Leeloo to defend title in Sunday’s Dancin Renee Stakes. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

Trainer Dave Duggan added blinkers for Kant Hurry Love’s return to the races, hoping for a little more focus from the 5-year-old daughter of Kantharos. He got it Sunday at Aqueduct.

Running for the first time since March 9 and with her new equipment, Ken Wheeler Jr.’s Kant Hurry Love defended her title in the $125,000 Dancin Renee Stakes. She won last year’s renewal at Belmont Park for her first stakes victory and picked up Sunday’s during the Belmont at the Big A meeting to the delight of her conditioner.

“It was a very unique performance,” Duggan said. “We were very nervous about how the blinkers would affect her off a good run. 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.”

Off since a narrow second behind Hot Fudge in the open-company Correction Stakes March 9 at Aqueduct, Kant Hurry Love controlled the Dancin Renee from the start. Hustled away from the gate after the break by Trevor McCarthy, Kant Hurry Love led longshot Majestic Return up the backstretch through the opening quarter-mile in :22.28. Leeloo raced just behind the top pair and the complexion of the race remained that way around the far turn.

Kant Hurry Love shook off a pesky Majestic Return past the half in :44.95 and braced for the late runs from Leeloo and 1-2 favorite Sterling Silver in the stretch.

“We were rolling right along,” McCarthy said. “On paper, Kendrick [Carmouche, aboard Majestic Return] and I were the speed and with the blinkers on, I wanted to really hustle her. 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 [Castellano, aboard Sterling Silver] and get the jump on them. 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.”

Leeloo, shipping in from trainer Ignacio Correas IV’s barn at Keeneland off back-to-back tries in open stakes, made a solid run at the leader but couldn’t get past. Kant Hurry Love won by three-quarters of a length over Leeloo with Sterling Silver third of six. Kant Hurry Love won in 1:10.11.

“Last race, that was a tough race beaten by a very good filly,” Duggan said of Hot Fudge. “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 improved to 5-for-14 at the 6-furlong trip and 6-8-5 in 22 starts. She earned $68,750 for the Dancin Renee victory and boosted her bankroll to $525,600.

Bred by Dr. John and Laura McDermott, foaled at Seldom Still Farm in Granville and out of their homebred Langfuhr mare She’s All Love, Kant Hurry Love sold for $40,000 to Debbie Easter at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Select Yearling Showcase in Kentucky.

A half-sister to stakes winners Candid Desire and Bonus Points, She’s All Love is also the dam of the 3-year-old New York-bred Keen Ice gelding Triple Word Score. A $50,000 purchase out of the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale, Triple Word Score finished third in most recent start in a mid-May maiden-claiming race at Belmont at the Big A. She’s All Love did not produce a foal in 2022 or 2023 and delivered a New York-bred filly by multiple Grade 1 winner Vekoma February 10.

Duggan said Kant Hurry Love, who scratched out of the April 13 Primonetta Stakes at Laurel Park and the June 5 Rehoboth Stakes at Delaware Park, would stay with New York-breds for her next start this summer.

“That’s it; that’s the plan,” Duggan said of the August 9 Union Avenue Handicap at Saratoga Race Course. “Would just train her up to that.”

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