X Y Jet Passes Mr. Prospector Test After 13-Month Layoff

Multiple graded stakes winner X Y Jet has returned to the races, and the 5-year-old gelding seems to be feeling like his old self. Making his first start off a 13-month layoff on Saturday, the son of Kantharos was able to hold off a determined First Growth to win the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Ridden by Emisael Jaramillo for trainer Jorge Navarro, the 3-2 favorite crossed the wire a half-length in front to become the first two-time winner of the Mr. Prospector. X Y Jet, owned by Gary Hartunian and Ivan Rodriguez, completed six furlongs in 1:09.45.

“He made me,” said an emotional Navarro. “It’s crazy what I’m going through right now. I asked myself all the time: ‘Is he ready?’ Come on, it’s been two years. Two races in two years. We’ll see how he come out. If he comes out, they’re in trouble. That’s all I can say.”

X Y Jet, usually exceptionally quick out of the starting gate, broke with the field in the Mr. Prospector. Jaramillo had to hit the gas a little in the first 100 yards, and the gelding responded with a burst that put him two lengths better than the field. First Growth and Sonic Mule moved in unison behind the leader, while a four-wide pack of Yourdreamsormine, Sweetontheladies, Fire Mission and Fast Friar also kept close tabs on the pace.

After a first quarter in :22.31, jockey Gerardo Corrales sent First Growth after X Y Jet. The winner of the Claiming Crown Express, First Growth cut the lead down to a length around the turn, and approached X Y Jet’s hip as the pair straightened for home at least three lengths better than the rest of the field.

First Growth had the momentum advantage, but X Y Jet wasn’t going to give up without a fight. The game grey gelding moved away to a full length’s lead again, but started to tire a little nearing the eighth pole when Jaramillo had to work hard to get him onto his right lead. Corrales drew another gear out of First Growth and he came at the leader again.

At that point, it was Jaramillo’s veteran reinsman’s skills that helped X Y Jet hold on for the victory. X Y Jet drifted to the outside, toward First Growth, when he changed leads, and continued to drift slightly all the way to the wire. It wasn’t enough to force First Growth to alter his course, but perhaps just enough to intimidate the horse; X Y Jet still held a half-length’s lead over First Growth as the wire flashed overhead.

“Our fear was that the horse hasn’t run for a long time and he might get tired,” said Jaramillo. “This horse is on top again.”

It was about five lengths back to third-place finisher Sonic Mule, who just held over K Wave.

It is worth noting that First Growth has twice been disqualified from winning performances due to a positive test in 2017: in the Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial at Mountaineer, and in a starter allowance at Thistledown in July.

Bred in Florida by Didier Plasencia, X Y Jet was purchased by Antonio Sano for $56,000 at the OBS August yearling sale. It took him five starts to break his maiden, and it wasn’t until late in 2015 when X Y Jet really hit his stride. The gelding took five races in a row, including the 2015 Mr. Prospector, en route to a heart-breaking runner-up finish by a neck in the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen. Knee surgery sidelined X Y Jet two starts later, but he appears to be returning to his top form for Navarro. With a record of 7-6-2 from 18 starts, X Y Jet has earned over $860,000.

“I think there is a Florida-bred race [Jan. 20 Sunshine Millions Sprint],” Navarro continued. “If I can get a month in between, you’ll see him here one more time [before the March 31 Golden Shaheen on Dubai World Cup card].”

The post X Y Jet Passes Mr. Prospector Test After 13-Month Layoff appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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