Kant Hurry Love finds her best stride late in the Dancin Renee (Chelsea Durand)
By Keith McCalmont – NYRA Press Office
ELMONT, N.Y.— It took 16 starts for Ken Wheeler, Jr.’s Kant Hurry Love to make her stakes debut, but she made it well worth the wait with a dramatic nose score in Sunday’s $125,000 Dancin Renee, a six-furlong sprint for older New York-bred fillies and mares, at Belmont Park.
The 4-year-old Kantharos bay has won 3-of-5 starts since joining the barn of trainer David Duggan this winter at Aqueduct Racetrack where she captured a state-bred optional claimer on February 5 and an open allowance in March.
Kant Hurry Love, who posted a bullet half-mile in 46.29 over the Belmont dirt training track on June 11, entered from a difficult third-place effort in an optional-claiming event here on May 12.
“She’d worked so well and had been doing so well the past couple of weeks since her last race,” Duggan said. “I just think the last race was a lot better than it seems because she got stuck down in on the inside. I’m just delighted for the filly coming through the New York-bred ranks and now getting stakes-placed. She’s special in our barn.”
The Eric Cancel-piloted Grannys Connection, who entered on a four-race win streak, set the early tempo by marking off splits of 22.72 seconds and 45.68 over the fast main track as Kant Hurry Love, who exited the outermost post 7, tracked from second position with Rossa Veloce in third to her inside.
Grannys Connection opened up a 1 1/2-length advantage at the stretch call but McCarthy asked his charge for more and Kant Hurry Love responded down the center of the track as the multiple graded-stakes placed Sterling Silver surged into contention towards the rail. A determined Kant Hurry Love found her best stride in the final sixteenth and was up in the final jumps to secure the win in a final time of 1:10.40. It was three-quarters of a length back to Sterling Silver in third with Betsy Blue, Captainsdaughter, Rossa Veloce and Bank On Anna rounding out the order of finish.
Duggan said he thought the Tom Morley-trained Grannys Connection had got the jump on the field.
“I didn’t think we got up to be honest,” Duggan said. “We were just hoping to get a place at the top of the stretch because it looked like Tom’s filly was gone. He [McCarthy] popped her one and then she started to re-rally.”
McCarthy, who guided Kant Hurry Love to her allowance score two starts back, was full of praise for the improving filly.
“The first time I rode her, I picked her up at the draw and she won really easily at Aqueduct – just playing with them,” McCarthy said. “Today was definitely a big step up for her, but she showed the ability in the morning and afternoon.
“The biggest thing was being aggressive out of the gate with her just to force everybody else’s hand,” McCarthy added. “That outside post was kind of a dream come true. She got in a really good rhythm for me and Eric made a middle move and I chirped to her and she wasn’t quite ready to go yet. I decided to give her another minute and once we hit the stretch, I’ll really get aggressive with her. She switched leads and she was super game.”
Cancel said he was pleased with effort from Grannys Connection.
“She started wearing out on me a little bit at the end, but she was game the whole way. The other horse just nailed me right at the wire,” Cancel said.
Duggan said Kant Hurry Love, who made her first 11 starts for trainer Christophe Clement, could now target the $125,000 Union Avenue Handicap, a six-furlong sprint for New York-bred fillies and mares on August 11 at Saratoga Race Course.
“This was a testing ground to find out if we belonged or if we’re just a winter filly,” Duggan said. “So, we’ll re-evaluate and make sure she comes out of it OK, but based on what I saw today there’s no reason she shouldn’t go there.”
Kant Hurry Love is out of the Langfuhr mare She’s All Love, who is a half-sister to multiple graded-stakes placed Bonus Points and stakes-winner Candid Desire. Bred in the Empire State by Dr. John M. McDermott and Laura G. McDermott, Kant Hurry Love banked $68,750 in victory while improving her record to 16-5-5-4. She returned $27.60 for a $2 win ticket.
Live racing resumes Friday at Belmont Park with a nine-race card. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern.