X Y Jet Set for Takeoff in Sunshine Millions Sprint
Jan 16, 2019
Multiple Graded-Stakes Winner Back in Action
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL
– Multiple graded stakes-winning X Y Jet is set for a much-anticipated return to action in the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint, one four stakes races for Florida-bred horses on Saturday’s program at Gulfstream Park.
The popular 7-year-old gelding hasn’t run since winning the $250,000 Smile Sprint (G3) by 2 ½ lengths at Gulfstream on the June 30 Summit of Speed program.
Navarro is hopeful that the six-furlong Sprint, won by X Y Jet in 2016 and 2018, will serve as a springboard for a start in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1), a race in which the son of Kantharos has finished second twice.
Navarro had hoped to run X Y Jet in the Nov. 3 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs but, unhappy with the way he came out of his final workout, ruled him out of the race the day before entries were to be taken.
“The way he’s training, I don’t think we’re going to have an issue with him the remainder of the year,” said trainer Jorge Navarro, whose veteran sprinter has had a series of six breezes at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, in preparation for the Sprint. “He worked great Saturday. The way he was hitting the ground was perfect. He’s getting better. I’m very pleased with the way he’s coming to the race.”
Owned by Gelfenstein Farm and Rockingham Ranch, X Y Jet has won 10 of 22 starts and more than $1.5 million in purses.
“He and Private Zone have put me where I am today,” said Navarro, who saddled Private Zone for multiple graded-stakes wins in 2015. “I have a lot of good horses in my barn because of the opportunities those horses have given me.”
X Y Jet has required TLC during his career, but the results have made the extra attention well worth it.
“I have done nothing but right with that horse. There are knockers who say he should be retired. Up to this point, he’s doing super. If anything comes up with him, he’ll be retired,” Navarro said. “Right now he wants to be a racehorse.”
Emisael Jaramillo has the return mount.
West Point Thoroughbreds Reason to Soar is also scheduled to make his first start since running in the Smile Sprint.
The 5-year-old son of Soaring Empire finished second behind X Y Jet but was disqualified and placed fifth after swerving out to impede a rival in upper stretch.
“He performed very well. What he did to get disqualified, we really don’t know why he did that. Maybe, he got spooked by something. We don’t have concrete answers why that happened,” trainer George Weaver said. “Despite him bearing out. The horse did hit the wire second and we believe he was the second best horse in that race. You don’t like to interfere with anybody, but the horse he interfered with was kind of empty anyway. It was frustrating to lose the purse and the stakes-placing for the horse in a graded stakes.”
Jose Ortiz has the call aboard the 5-year-old gelding who had won his three starts prior to Smile Sprint. He came off an eight-month layoff to win an entry-level optional claiming allowance for Florida-breds last March before winning back-to-back optional claiming allowances against open company.
“When he came back off a layoff last year he won a Florida-bred one-other-than [optional claiming allowance]. In that case, he’s just a superior horse,” Weaver said. “The horse has gotten more professional as he’s gone along. I really feel he’ll be ready to run his race.”
Sweetontheladies, a multiple graded stakes-placed son of Twirling Candy; Ray’swarrior, who captured a $30,000 claiming race by 9 ¼ lengths for trainer Jason Servis; Quijote, a hard-knocking stakes veteran; Field Trip and Springmeier round out the field.