Sterling Silver tests her mettle in $125K Dancin Renee
Stakes Advance
Jun 20, 2024
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Sterling Silver tests her mettle in $125K Dancin Renee

by Keith McCalmont

Mark T. Anderson’s multiple graded stakes-placed New York-bred Sterling Silver drops into a comfortable spot for Sunday’s $125,000 Dancin Renee, a six-furlong sprint for older state-bred fillies and mares, at Belmont at the Big A.

The 5-year-old Cupid mare has made her last two outings at 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.

Sterling Silver [post 3, Javier Castellano, 124 pounds], bred in the Empire State by Mallory Mort and Karen Mort, made her first 21 starts for the now retired Tom Albertrani and will debut Sunday for Hall of Famer Bill Mott after racing in the care of conditioner Lance Rutledge last out.

Mott said a return to New York-bred company should help the talented mare, who has worked five times over Saratoga Race Course's Oklahoma dirt training track, including a half-mile in 51.55 seconds on Monday.

"She's doing very well. I'm very happy with her. We kind of have just taken over where they left off [previous trainers],” Mott said. “She's been doing everything right so far. We are happy. She is a big, good-looking filly. She trains nicely.”

Sterling Silver has won three state-bred stakes, including the six-furlong Iroquois here in October, along with four graded placings topped by the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom in October at the Big A where she crossed the wire four lengths in front but was disqualified and placed second for interference.

Out of the Distorted Humor mare Sheet Humor, Sterling Silver was a $13,000 purchase at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase. She has banked $745,551 in purse earnings through a 22-7-3-3 record.

Kingsport Farm’s Leeloo [post 4, Dylan Davis, 120 pounds] also drops in from graded company following a close fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Winning Colors on May 27 at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Ignacio Correas, IV, the 5-year-old Practical Joke bay stalked the eventual winner Clearly Unhinged throughout the six-furlong Winning Colors but could not close the gap and landed 2 3/4-lengths in arrears.

The ultra-consistent Leeloo boasts a record of 19-5-4-2 for purse earnings of $391,158. She notched an optional-claiming score against open company traveling six furlongs over good footing here in February with returning pilot Dylan Davis aboard. She earned a stakes placing in October at Aqueduct when a close second to Sterling Silver in the state-bred Iroquois.

Bred by Sequel Stallions NY and Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, Leeloo, out of the winning Elusive Quality mare Ribbon Cutter, is a half-sister to multiple stakes-placed Grand Opening. Her second dam, Couture Cat, is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1-winning multimillionaire McKinzie.

WellSpring Stables’ Security Code [post 5, Jose Lezcano, 124 pounds] became a stakes-winner two starts back with a neck score over Venti Valentine in the state-bred Broadway.

Trained by Phil Serpe, the 4-year-old Frosted bay stalked from third position under returning rider Jose Lezcano in the seven-furlong Broadway as returning rivals Kant Hurry Love and Majestic Return dueled through a half-mile in 47.23. Security Code made a three-wide move into the lane and overtook Kant Hurry Love inside the final 50 yards before staving off the bid of Venti Valentine to win in a final time of 1:26.77. The victory, which garnered a 78 Beyer, marked the filly’s eighth consecutive on-the-board effort.

Last out, Security Code stretched out to one-mile in the state-bred Biogio’s Rose on March 25 here, breaking outward before leading through the first two points of call and fading to fourth.

She has worked steadily for her return to action, including a half-mile in 48.34 over the Spa main track on June 16.

Bred by Rockridge Stud, Ascendant Farms and Godolphin, Security Code, a half-sister to stakes-winner No Mo' Spending, is out of the graded stakes-placed Montbrook mare Stopspendingmaria.

Ken Wheeler, Jr.’s Kant Hurry Love [post 2, Trevor McCarthy, 124 pounds] will add blinkers as she looks to defend her Dancin Renee title for trainer David Duggan.

The 5-year-old Kantharos mare enjoyed a tremendous 2023 campaign, posting a record of 9-4-3-1 led by her nose score in this event over Grannys Connection at Belmont Park.

“We didn't think we'd won it,” recalled Duggan, with a laugh. “These races are always hard to win and even harder on the repeat, but she's in good form.”

Along the way, Kant Hurry Love has added stakes placings when second in both the state-bred Union Avenue Handicap in August at Saratoga and the open-company Garland of Roses when a neck back of the streaking Kentucky-bred Hot Fudge in December at Aqueduct.

Kant Hurry Love has hit the board in a pair of starts this year here, finishing third in February’s aforementioned state-bred Broadway and a close second to familiar foe Hot Fudge in the open Correction on March 9. She scratched from the Rehoboth on June 5 at Delaware Park.

Duggan said that while Kant Hurry Love is more than capable against open company in favorable circumstances, he’s happy to have her back against fellow state-breds.

“We got a good spot the last time against Hot Fudge. That was a good race but a bit of a gut-wrencher as well,” Duggan said. “In saying that, she's back with her own company. It's not a gimme by any means, but she's doing very well.”

Bred in the Empire State 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 graded-stakes placed Bonus Points and stakes-winner Candid Desire.

Kant Hurry Love, a $40,000 purchase at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearling Showcase, holds a 21-5-8-5 record with $456,850 in earnings.

Rounding out a talented field are multiple stakes-placed Captainsdaughter [post 1, Luis Rivera, Jr., 118 pounds] for trainer Russell Cash; and three-time winner Majestic Return [post 6, Kendrick Carmouche, 118 pounds] for trainer Michelle Giangiulio.

The Dancin Renee is slated as Race 8 on Sunday’s nine-race program. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern.

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