Waterford Stable’s Summer Front is the reigning champion of the $100,000 Grade III Miami Mile Handicap for three-year-olds and up and returns this Saturday to Calder Casino & Race Course with the hopes of taking back-to-back victories in the 1-mile turf race.
Summer Front scored the 2013 Miami Mile at Calder after a riding patiently and moving around the far turn to come up with the win down the stretch by 1 ½ lengths. He then went on to win the Grade III Cliff Hanger Stakes going 1 1/16 miles on the turf at Monmouth Park. Three starts later when making his first appearance in 2014 at Gulfstream Park in the Grade II Ft. Lauderdale Stakes going 1 1/16 miles on the turf, he won by ¾ of a length. He comes into the Miami Mile off of a seventh-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Grade I Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on the turf at Gulfstream.
The field for the Miami Mile is filled with stakes winners and stakes-placed horses from the past couple years.
Jacks or Better Farm, Inc.’s Alley Oop Oop finished fourth in last year’s Miami Mile. He went on to score back-to-back wins, which includes his first career stakes win in the 1 1/16-mile Armed Forces Stakes on the turf at Gulfstream. He comes into this year’s Miami Mile off of a sixth-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Tampa Turf Classic Stakes on the turf at Tampa Bay Downs.
E. Paul Robsham Stables, LLC’s Travelin Man last won a stakes race last year in the 6 ½-furlong Sir Shackleton Stakes on the dirt at Gulfstream. He comes into the Miami Mile off of a fifth-place finish in the 5-furlong Silks Run Stakes on the turf at Gulfstream. A. Bianco Holding’s Dad’z Laugh has finished second four-straight times in his most recent races, beginning with the 6-furlong Thrillin Discovery Handicap on the dirt at Calder and most recently with the 6 ½-furlong Sir Shackleton Stakes on the dirt at Gulfstream.
Rontos Racing Stable Corp.’s Hey Leroy just became a graded stakes winner in his stakes debut when he won the 1-mile Grade III Appleton Stakes on the turf at Gulfstream in his most recent start. He won by a neck after being held for much of the race and advancing in the stretch to win nearing the wire. Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s Grand Tito came fifth in the Appleton, while Crossed Sabres Farm’s Midnight Cello ran sixth. Grand Tito’s only stakes win came last year at Gulfstream with a dead-heat for the victory in the 1 1/16-mile Showing Up Stakes on the turf. Midnight Cello has yet to earn his first stakes win but does have two second-place stakes finishes at Calder which came last year in the 1 1/16-mile Needles Stakes on the turf by six lengths and the 1 1/8-mile Tropical Park Derby on the turf by a head. Bert Epperson’s Padilla finished sixth in the Needles and fourth in the Tropical Park Derby. He has not run in a stakes race since.
Shamrock Farm’s Monument Hill won his most recent race, a 1 1/16-mile claiming race on the turf at Gulfstream. He has not run in a stake since his eighth-place finish in the Grade III Red Bank Stakes, going one mile on the turf, at Monmouth last year.
Tiger's Hunter Stud LLC’s Buffalo makes both his United States debut and 2014 debut in the Miami Mile. Also making their 2014 debuts are Just For Fun Stable Inc.’s Decisive Moment and Eugene P. Cahalan’s Dangerous Lad. Bruce Hollander & Cary Shapoff’s Csaba and Blackacre Farms, Inc.’s Flatter This are main track only entrants. Just for Fun Stable Inc.’s Tale of the Heart is an also-eligible for the race.
The Miami Mile has an approximate post time of 4 p.m. as the seventh race. Post time for the first race is 12:55 p.m.