Waterford Stable’s Summer Front, third in last year’s Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap and Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes, will look to secure his first victory since taking the $100,000 Duluth Stakes at Saratoga last summer when starting in the $100,000 Grade 3 Miami Mile Handicap at Calder Casino & Race Course on Saturday.
Trained by Christophe Clement, who has won every graded turf stake at Calder with the exception of the Miami Mile, Summer Front began his career with three straight wins as a 2-year-old, including stakes victories in the King Cugat and the Dania Beach, before returning to win twice as a sophomore, adding the Grade 3 Hill Prince to his Duluth triumph.
The son of War Front has made one appearance in 2013, finishing a troubled third in a top-shelf turf allowance at Gulfstream Park, and will be ridden from post one on Saturday by jockey Joe Bravo.
A three-time winner over the Calder turf, and second in the 2012 edition of the Grade 2 W. L. McKnight Handicap, Signal Hill Farms’ Mucho Mas Macho returns to his home course for the Miami Mile after a two-race stint at Gulfstream that saw the son of Macho Uno upset the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes at odds of 41-1.
Conditioned by Henry Collazo, Mucho Mas Macho was unable to duplicate that effort in his most recent start, a fifth-place performance in the Grade 2 Pan American Handicap, and will look to rebound from that lackluster showing when starting form post 11 in the Miami Mile under Juan Leyva.
After failing to hit the board in five starts at the Gulfstream meet, Luis Duco Stables, Inc.’s Empire Builder looks to be a colt eager for a return to the Calder turf where he has won three of five starts, including a two-length stakes triumph in the $55,000 Naked Greed.
The son of Kitten’s Joy was also second in the Needles, where he was beaten just a neck by his aforementioned rival Mucho Mas Macho, and third in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap.
Empire Builder starts from post three in the Miami Mile where he will be ridden by Jesus Rios.
Shamrock Farm’s consistent 7-year-old Monument Hill will take another crack at taking down the first stakes of his career when starting from post 10 in the Miami Mile for trainer George Weaver.
The son of Royal Academy, who has finished no worse than third in 18 of his 21 career starts, exits a winning effort in a tough turf allowance at Gulfstream, and in his previous graded-stakes attempts the gelding crossed the wire third in the 2012 running of the Appleton Stakes and sixth in last year’s Grade 3 Red Bank.
Other notables in the Miami Mile field include Jacks or Better Farm, Inc.’s Alley Oop Oop, beaten less than a length when dead-heating for second in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes; Just For Fun Stable, Inc.’s Decisive Moment, runner-up in a pair of tough Gulfstream turf allowance races this past winter; Our Sugar Bear Stable’s millionaire Gourmet Dinner; and Centaur Farms, Inc.’s Megamove, who has finished no worse than second in each of his last six outings.
Completing the field is Joseph Balsamo’s Bellefire, Bruno Schickedanz’s Awake At T Wire, Jim Bakke and Gerry Isbister’s Cool Blue Red Hot, and Kinsman Stable’s El Commodore. Blackacre Farms, Inc.’s Flatter This and Miller Racing, LLC and Precious Acres’ Thank U Philippe were entered main track only.
Saturday’s 12-race program at Calder will also feature the $55,000 Musical Romance, a 6 ½-furlong main track dash for fillies and mares that has attracted 2012 Calder stakes winners Redbud Road and Frolic’s Revenge, in addition to recent Grade 2 Ruffian Handicap fourth-place finisher Centrique and eight-time local winner Starship Truffles.
Post time at Calder on Saturday is 12:50 p.m., with the Grade 3 Miami Mile scheduled as the ninth race of the day at approximately 4:26 p.m. The Musical Romance will follow two races later as the 11th and is slated for a 5:20 start.