X Y Jet Continues Comeback in Saturday’s Sunshine Millions Sprint
Jan 17, 2018
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL
– The next stop on X Y Jet’s comeback trail is scheduled for Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where the resurgent 6-year-old gelding is entered to run in the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint, one of four stakes for Florida-breds on the card.
X Y Jet, one of the world’s elite sprinters in 2016 before going to the sideline for 13 months with a knee injury that required surgery, made a most promising return to action at Gulfstream Dec. 23 with a front-running victory in the Mr. Prospector (G3). Owned by Rockingham Ranch and Gelfenstein Farm, X Y Jet had been sidelined since finishing third in the De Francis Dash (G3) at Laurel in November 2016.
The gray son of Kantharos ran six furlongs in 1:09.45 while finishing a half-length ahead of a tenacious First Growth after a hotly contested stretch run.
“He came out of the race great. He is in great condition. I’m looking forward to seeing him run on Saturday,” trainer Jorge Navarro said.
X Y Jet started to blossom into a world-class sprinter in the fall of 2015, winning back-to-back optional claiming allowance races before capturing the Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream by 9 ¼ lengths in 1:08.56. In 2016, He went on to win the Sunshine Millions Sprint by 4 ¼ lengths in 1:08.58 and the 6 ½-furlong Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) in 1:15.95. His winning streak came to an end when he finished second by a neck in the $2 million Golden Shaheen (G1) in Dubai.
Visiting the winner’s circle with X Y Jet again after his Mr. Prospector victory was a somewhat emotional moment for his trainer.
“It was because of my appreciation for the horse and what he’s done for me and my family,” Navarro said. “He took me to Dubai, I’ll never forget that. Coming off that layoff and to win a stake…”
A return visit to Dubai with X Y Jet may well be in the future.
“Why not? He seemed to like it,” Navarro said. “We’re going to go step by step, like we did with his last one; he’s ready for this one. We’ll take pictures, make sure everything is the right way. Remember that was his third knee surgery. We’ll baby him.”
Emisael Jaramillo has the return mount Saturday.
Multiple-stakes winner Mo Cash is slated to take on X Y Jet and five other rivals in the six-furlong sprint for older horses. The newly-turned 4-year-old ran exclusively against 3-year-olds last year with the exception of a fourth-place finish in a stakes-quality optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Park West Nov. 26. The son of Adios Charlie had been idle four months and used the six-furlong sprint won by Navarro-trained Fire Mission as a prep for the $125,000 FTBOA Marion Country Florida Sire Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs Dec. 12.
“We were using [the Nov. 26 race] as a springboard. He didn’t relish the track over there. He kind of fumbled around with it,” trainer Ron Spatz said. “He ran good enough that we took him to Tampa thinking he’d have a shot to improve off that race and it worked. Now, the road gets tougher.”
Mo Cash registered a mild upset over odds-on favorite Three Rules in the seven-furlong stakes at Tampa Bay Downs under a perfectly executed ride by Antonio Gallardo.
“I have to give credit to Gallardo. I asked him not to rush him, and he didn’t. When he saw a little hole and a shot to go, he went and I think took the wind out of Three Rules sails. I think he made a winning move,” Spatz said.
Mo Cash won at first asking at Gulfstream Park Jan. 27, defeating $35,000 maiden claimers by nine lengths. The gelding came right back to win the American Fabius Stakes at Gulfstream and the Sophomore Stakes at Tampa, He finished second behind Three Rules in the Carry Back (G3) on Summit of Speed Day July 1 at Gulfstream before finishing fourth in the Amsterdam (G2) at Saratoga in July.
“I would like him at seven furlongs better. I was hoping to increase the distance a little bit to see where he can go, distance-wise, because he’s learning to rate a little bit and finish better, Spatz Said. “When he first started out he was all speed and he started to settle back a bit. X Y Jet is a brilliantly fast horse. We’re going to sit back a little bit and see what happens.”
Javier Castellano is scheduled to ride Mo Cash for the first time.
Lawson Racing Stables’ Bold Envoy is slated to make his stakes debut in the Sunshine Millions Sprint after winning two of three career starts, all at Gulfstream. The 4-year-old son of Indian Express won his first start by 9 ¼ lengths against $35,000 maiden claimers Aug. 17 before finishing a troubled third Sept. 28. In his debut for trainer Todd Pletcher, Bold Envoy captured an optional claiming allowance by 4 ¾ lengths. John Velazquez has the return mount.
Multiple stakes winners Quijote, and Sweetontheladies, who finished 1-2, respectively, in the Millions Sprint Preview at Gulfstream Park West, will both seek to rebound from subpar performances in the Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream Dec. 23.
Sheikh of Sheikhs and Storming My Way round out the field.