04/23/2015 1:41PM

Storming Inti seeks breakthrough in Miami Mile

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Barbara D. Livingston
Storming Inti has a good chance at his first graded stakes win in Saturday's Grade 3 Miami Mile.

The Grade 3, $100,000 Miami Mile helps kick off the 2015 spring-summer stakes schedule at Gulfstream Park on Saturday while highlighting a card that features two other stakes and a mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 jackpot, which had reached almost $1.5 million on Thursday.

An evenly matched field of 10 will decide the Miami Mile on turf. Red Vine is entered for the main track only and likely would be the heavy favorite if the race comes off turf.

Storming Inti and Grand Tito, both multiple graded stakes placed, may vie for favoritism on the grass. Middleburg and Shatak both bring two-race win streaks into the Miami Mile.

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Storming Inti has started just once since August, finishing fourth in a high-level optional-claiming race in early March, and seeks his first victory since capturing the Kitten’s Joy here in January 2014. Last year at 3, Storming Inti was second, beaten a neck, in the Grade 2 American Turf at Churchill Downs and third, beaten less than a length, in the Grade 3 Palm Beach at Gulfstream.

Grand Tito continues to knock on the door in graded stakes races but has yet to win one. Grand Tito finished second, beaten a neck, in the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale here to launch his 2015 campaign and also was second here in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf and third in the Grade 3 Appleton.

Middleburg continues to improve, having won optional-claiming races by three-quarters of a length in his last two starts.

“He’s always been a very honest horse, he tries hard every time, and I think we’ve given him enough time to avoid the bounce after his last race,” trainer Christophe Clement said.

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KEY CONTENDERS

STORMING INTI (Last 3 Beyers: 90-71-87)

◗ He finished fourth in his only previous start against older horses, which came in his return from an eight-month layoff on March 6.

◗ Trainer Chad Brown has an excellent 26 percent success rate from a 438-horse sample over the past five years with horses making their second start after being idle for about 45 days, according to DRF Formulator.

GRAND TITO (Last 3 Beyers: 94-96-96)

◗ He’s been a model of consistency from a Beyer Speed Figure standpoint over his last five starts, earning numbers ranging between 94 and 99 during that period. Four of those races have come since he was transferred to trainer Gustavo Delgado’s barn for the start of his 2015 campaign.

MIDDLEBURG (Last 3 Beyers: 94-91-88)

◗ He reunites with Jose Lezcano, who has been aboard for three of his four victories.

◗ He has not been off the board in 11 straight outings, dating back to his maiden win at Gulfstream in winter 2013.

INCHCAPE ( Last 3 Beyers: 98-92-85)

◗ He’s the only member of the field without a win at a mile, having finished second in his two starts at the distance.

Powder Break, Tarpon chalky

Also on Saturday’s card is the $75,000 Powder Break for fillies and mares going a mile on turf and the $60,000 Tarpon Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile on the main track.

Clement holds the upper hand in the Powder Break with Discreet Marq, who may be a single on many Rainbow 6 tickets. She is taking a considerable class drop for her 2015 debut. Winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in 2013, Discreet Marq was Grade 1 placed three times last season, concluding her campaign with a third-place finish as the 3-2 favorite in the Grade 1 Matriarch at Del Mar on Nov. 30.

“She’s a top-class miler and she’s been training remarkably well,” Clement said. “I could run her anywhere at a mile.”

The Powder Break also includes the multiple stakes winner Baffle Me; E B Ryder and Lori’s Store from the barn of trainer Marty Wolfson; and the three-time stakes winner Surtsey.

Mr. Jordan, who won two stakes last year at 2, figures to be a heavy favorite in the $60,000 Tarpon.

Mr. Jordan suffered his first defeat in four starts when second behind the undefeated Competitive Edge here four weeks ago. The start was the first for Mr. Jordan since undergoing minor surgery to repair a check ligament injury sustained shortly after his easy win in the one-mile Smooth Air at Gulfstream Park West in his juvenile finale. Mr. Jordan will race in blinkers for the first time in the Tarpon.