D’ont Lose Cruz Back To Sprinting in $100K Damon Runyon

March 2, 2023

D’ont Lose Cruz wins an allowance optional claimer Jan. 15 at Aqueduct (NYRA/Coglianese)

NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Clear Stars Stable, Mitre Box Stable, Big Toe Stables and Koshanostra Stables’ stakes-placed New York-bred D’ont Lose Cruz will return to sprinting following his fourth-place effort in Saturday’s one-turn mile Gander, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by David Duggan, the Always Dreaming sophomore made his first four starts at six furlongs at the Big A, of which the first three came under the care of now retired trainer Rick Schosberg. He was a game second in the Notebook in November before making a winning debut for Duggan by adding blinkers and closing strongly to best the multiple stakes-placed Starquist and next-out winner What’s Up Bro.

D’ont Lose Cruz set a contested pace in the Gander, marking the half-mile in 47.42, before Maker’s Candy took over en route to a drifting 1 1/2-length score over Neural Network, who was subsequently elevated to victory.

Duggan said D’ont Lose Cruz exited the race in good order and will return to sprinting in the $100,000 Damon Runyon, a six-furlong test for state-bred sophomores on March 19 at Aqueduct.

“It was a fact finding mission. We don’t stay at this time, but maybe he will a little further down the line,” Duggan said. “He ran a credible race but we were beaten by better horses that were better distance horses. Now we know. The cut back will put him where we think he can be competitive.”

Bred by Southern Oak Farm, the $100,000 OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training purchase is out of the multiple stakes-winning D’Wildcat mare D’Wild Ride.

Ken Wheeler, Jr.’s state-bred Kant Hurry Love showed a new dimension with a heartbreaking nose loss in an open-company optional-claimer on Saturday at the Big A.

The 4-year-old Kantharos filly, piloted by Manny Franco, tossed her head at the start of the 6 1/2-furlong sprint and spotted the eight-horse field 5 1/2 lengths. She rated patiently down the backstretch before launching a five-wide bid to take command at the eighth-pole, but could not repel the late charge of I’m Buzzy, who arrived in the final jumps to secure the win.


“I cursed a lot,” exclaimed Duggan of the bad beat. “She broke a little tardy, but we now know she doesn’t need to be head and head on the lead. She can be just as good a late-running sprinter which is nice to know.”

Bred by Dr. John M. McDermott and Laura G. McDermott, Kant Hurry Love is out of the Langfuhr mare She’s All Love, who is a half-sister to the multiple graded-stakes placed Bonus Points and stakes-winner Candid Desire.

Clear Stars Stable, Mitre Box Stable and Big Toe Stables’ Luna Loca attended the pace before fading to fifth in the one-mile Maddie May for state-bred sophomore fillies on February 19 at Aqueduct.

The Malibu Moon bay graduated in November for Schosberg in a state-bred maiden claimer before capturing an open optional-claiming sprint over a sloppy and sealed main track on January 6 here in her debut for Duggan.

“We’ll take a step back with her,” Duggan said. “She’s been an overachiever. I’ll put her in an allowance on the 19th here where I think she’ll be competitive.”

Luna Loca, bred by Joe Fafone, was purchased for $60,000 at the OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training.

Duggan will send out the evergreen graded-stakes winning millionaire Drafted in Saturday’s Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap. The 9-year-old Field Commission gelding will exit post 4 under Luis Rodriguez Castro in the eight-horse field which features the seasonal debut of graded-stakes winner Runninsonofagun.

Drafted finished a closing third last out on January 28 in the Grade 3 Toboggan won by Repo Rocks, who exited that event to capture the Stymie on Saturday here.

“We’re dodging no bullets. These are good horses,” Duggan said. “He’s doing as good as he’s ever been doing and bounced out of the last race as good as I could have him. He’s ready to roll.”

Have to give out Props to @jonathanstettin for yesterday winners sure did help me have a big day 👌🏻$

Mike @tout1horse View testimonials