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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Palm Beach Draws 13, Led by Storming Inti


In graded stakes company for the first time, Storming Inti will put a four-race win streak on the line in Saturday's Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

The 1 1/8-mile, grade III race on grass carries no Kentucky Derby points but can be a springboard to stakes races with points on Keeneland's synthetic track. Thirteen are entered, including main-track-only entrant Ring Weekend.

“He has just continued to progress,” trainer Chad Brown said of Storming Inti. “He just keeps getting better and better, and I’m very pleased with how he’s doing. He has definitely earned his way into a graded race.”

Storming Inti kicked off his sophomore season by out-finishing grade 1 winner We Miss Artie in Kitten’s Joy at Gulfstream on Jan. 19. It was the fifth career start for Storming Inti. Third in his debut, he went on to break his maiden in September before taking the Awad Stakes, both at Belmont Park. Four weeks later, Storming Inti was a one-length winner of the Pulpit Stakes, moved from the grass to a sloppy/sealed main track at Gulfstream.

“In his debut he got into a little trouble but ran on well. He broke his maiden nicely at Belmont,” Brown said. “He’s a horse that always acted like a nice horse, and he’s acting like a horse that will get better as they race more and get more experience. Physically he’s developed nicely, but he has always been a nice prospect for us.”

Brown was particularly impressed with the Kitten’s Joy win. Storming Inti, racing on the inside, briefly lost the lead to We Miss Artie late in the game before surging again to get up by a head.

“Winning breeds confidence, I really believe in that,” Brown said. “Horses can get confident and get on a roll and this one, mentally, is a very strong horse. He always trains with a lot of interest. Particularly in his last race, he was very determined that day to win. He’s just been a pleasure to have in the barn.”

Storming Inti will break from post 1 under Javier Castellano.

Brown will also saddle French import Pleuven in the Palm Beach. In his North American debut, Pleuven rallied from far back on the outside to finish third, beaten 3 1/4 lengths, in the one-mile Dania Beach at Gulfstream on Dec. 21.

“He took a little while to settle into American training, but once we got over the hump and got him into a nice rhythm with his training he’s acted like a nice horse,” Brown said. “I was thinking a mile might be a little short for him, but I figured it would be a good spot to get him started. I thought he ran well and finished well, and a mile and an eighth should be very good for him.”

Mr Speaker returns to turf racing in the Palm Beach for Shug McGaughey after running seventh in the Holy Bull Stakes in his first dirt start. The Pulpit colt drew off to a 10 ¾-length win in the Dania Beach at Gulfstream on Dec. 21, and will race with Lasix for the first time.

Second to Mr Speaker in the Dania Beach, Cabo Cat came back to be a solid third in the Kitten’s Joy, closing to within 1 1/4 length of Storming Inti and We Miss Artie. In his only other stakes try, he was no factor, finishing sixth to Storming Inti in the Awad.

Ten-time defending meet training champion Todd Pletcher has never won the Palm Beach, but he'll take a shot with Gala Award. The lightly raced Bernardini colt has made two starts, finishing second in his Dec. 7 debut before graduating with a game three-quarter length maiden win on Jan. 20, both at Gulfstream. Gala Award was the second maiden grass winner in a week for Pletcher with a son of Bernardini, a multiple Grade 1 winner on dirt and champion 3-year-old male of 2006.

“I think a mile and an eighth suits him well,” Pletcher said. “I thought his last race was another move forward. Hopefully, he’s got another one in him. I’m not sure why he’s shown more on the grass than he has on the dirt. His dirt works have been improving since his last two races, but we know he handles the grass here. If something crazy happens and it comes off the turf, we wouldn’t be afraid to run him on the dirt.”

Smart Cover will make his 3-year-old debut for trainer Dale Romans in the Palm Beach. It'll be his first race since running second by a neck in the Iroquois at Churchill Downs on Sept. 7. Finishing third that day, another neck back, was Tapiture, who has gone on to win both the Kentucky Jockey Club and Southwest Stakes.

Moved to the turf for his most recent start, So Lonesome responded with a head victory in the Virgo Libra Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 16 for trainer Tom Bush.

Making their stakes debuts in the Palm Beach are Two Jacks Wild (trained by Dennis Manning)and maiden winners Can’thelpbelieving (Graham Motion), Morning Calm (Michelle Nihei), My Storm Trooper (Herman Wilensky) and Patent (Kiaran McLaughlin).

By Dick Downey, with content added by Gulfstream Park

Saturday, R10
Grade III Palm Beach Stakes
Gulfstream Park
1 1/8 Mile
Post Time: 5:41 ET

Post   Horse  ML  Jockey Sx  Wt Trainer
1  Storming Inti (PA) 3-1  J. Castellano  C  120  C. Brown
2  Patent (KY) 8-1  L. Saez  C  116  K. McLaughlin
3  My Storm Trooper (KY) 20-1  J. Sanchez  C  116  H. Wilensky
4  Pleuven (FR) 5-1  J. Bravo  C  116  C. Brown
5  So Lonesome (NY) 12-1  J. Leparoux  G  120  T. Bush
6  Morning Calm (NY) 20-1  L. Contreras  C  116  M. Nihei
7  Smart Cover (KY) 15-1  C. Lanerie  C  116  D. Romans
8  Two Jacks Wild (KY) 20-1  P. Lopez  G  116  D. Manning
9  Gala Award (KY_ 10-1  J. Velazquez  C  116  T. Pletcher
10  Mr Speaker (KY) 4-1  J. Lezcano  C  120  C. McGaughey III
11  Can'thelpbelieving (IRE) 12-1  A. Garcia  C  116  G. Motion
12  Cabo Cat (KY) 6-1  J. Rosario  C  116  M. Hennig
13 (MTO)  Ring Weekend (KY) 10-1  A. Garcia  G  116  G Motion

All will run with Lasix except 2 Patent.

Owners: 1 - Santa Rosa Racing Stables ; 2 - Darley Stable ; 3 - Crown Of Glory Racing LLC ; 4 - Robert V. LaPenta, Gary Finder and Bradley Thoroughbreds ; 5 - Patricia Schuler ; 6 - Great Hill Stables ; 7 - Donegal Racing ; 8 - Dennis J. Manning ; 9 - Michael B. Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Susan Magnier ; 10 - Phipps Stable ; 11 - Albert Frassetto ; 12 - Lee Lewis ; 13 - St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds

Breeders: 1 - Brushwood Stable; 2 - Darley; 3 - Shirley Bennett; 4 - Jean De Cheffontaines; 5 - Waterville Lake Stables Ltd LLC; 6 - Gallagher's Stud; 7 - Keene Ridge Racing, LLC; 8 - Farfellow Farms Ltd.; 9 - William L. Currin; 10 - Phipps Stable; 11 - G. Kelly, Milltownmore & Pinnacle B/S; 12 - Lee Lewis; 13 - Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd.


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