Off More Than A Year, X Y Jet Seeks Second Mr. Prospector Victory

X Y Jet is slated for a return to action from a 13-month layoff in Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream Park, seeking to recapture the form that fueled a five-race winning streak that included a victory in the 2015 edition of the six-furlong stakes.

“I just hope he’s the same horse he was two years ago, because that run he had was pretty neat,” trainer Jorge Navarro said.

Owned by Rockingham Ranch and Gelfenstein Farm, X Y Jet has been sidelined since finishing third in the DeFrancis Dash (G3) at Laurel in November 2016, having been recuperating from knee surgery.

“I’ve been waiting for him to come back. I believe this time we’ve given him the right time to heal from knee surgery,” Navarro said. “He wants to do it. He’s training good.”

The 6-year-old gelding has been prepared for his long-awaited return with a series of seven workouts at Gulfstream Park West.

“This is the best I have ever seen X Y Jet train,” Navarro said. “Horacio Karamanos worked him last time. He was amazed. He said, ‘Jorge, he almost took me out of the saddle how fast he is.’”

Front-running X Y Jet won back-to-back optional claiming allowance races before capturing the Mr. Prospector by 9 ¼ lengths in 1:08.56 and the Sunshine Millions Sprint by 4 ¼ lengths in 1:08.58.. The son of Kantharos went on to win the 6 ½-furlong Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) in 1:15.95 before his winning streak came to a photo-finish end in a second-place finish in the $2 million Golden Shaheen (G1) in Dubai.

Emisael Jaramillo, who was aboard during the six-race winning streak, has the return mount,

Navarro also entered Fire Mission in the Mr. Prospector, which drew a field of 10. The 7-year-old gelding is riding a four-race winning streak, including a stakes-worthy optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Park West last time out.

“To beat X Y Jet he’s going to have to bring his ‘A’ Game. Like I said, ‘I’m very excited about the way X Y Jet is training. I said to Fire Mission’s owner, I said straight out, ‘I believe X Y Jet will be a heavy favorite. We’re sitting on a horse that’s doing good right now. Let’s take a shot. We have nothing to lose,” said Navarro, who trains the son of Wildcat Heir for Al and Michelle Crawford Racing. “X Y Jet hasn’t run in a year. He maybe isn’t the same horse he was two years ago. We’re taking a chance with Fire Mission.”

Fire Mission has won his last four races from off the pace.

“That’s one thing I told the owner: ‘You don’t have to worry that they’ll be head to head,” said Navarro, who awarded the return mount to Tyler Gaffalione.

First Growth, who has finished first in eight of his last nine races, is entered to seek back-to-back stakes wins at Gulfstream Park in the Mr. Prospector. The 5-year-old gelding captured the $110,000 Claiming Crown Express by 3 ½ lengths Dec. 2.

“We’ve been moving him up slowly. Every time this horse has run he’s gotten better,” said trainer Odin Londono Jr., who claimed the son of Candy Ride for $5,000 at Mahoning Valley in January for Michelle Winters. “After winning the stake last time, he’s even better now.”

First Growth, who won the Express off a four-month layoff, will likely need to be better to take on X Y Jet, should the 2015 Mr. Prospector winner return to form.

“He’s the one to beat. His form says it all,” Londono said. “I looked at the race and it seems even. X Y Jet is the one horse that will make the step up tougher.”

Gerardo Corrales has the return mount.

Sonic Mule, who captured the Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream in January for trainer Todd Pletcher; Quijote, the winner of the Sunshine Million Sprint Preview at Gulfstream Park West last time out; and Sweetontheladies and Yourdreamsormine, a pair of local multiple-stakes winners; are among the most prominent Mr. Prospector entrants.

K Wave, Fast Friar and Quinientos round out the field.

The post Off More Than A Year, X Y Jet Seeks Second Mr. Prospector Victory appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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