By Blood Horse
X Y Jet became the only horse in the history of the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) to win the six-furlong sprint twice, winning by a half-length Dec. 23 at Gulfstream Park. What made the accomplishment all the more special is that the 5-year-old gelding won the races two years apart.
Sidelined this year while recovering from injury, X Y Jet shook off the rust accumulated from a 13-month layoff and posted a front-running triumph under jockey Emisael Jaramillo. Unlike his easy 9 1/4-length triumph in the 2015 Mr. Prospector, X Y Jet had to work hard while tiring in deep stretch to prevail by a half-length.
“I asked myself all the time: ‘Is he ready?’ Come on, it’s been two years, two races in two years,” said trainer Jorge Navarro, whose gelding hadn’t seen action since finishing third in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes (G3) at Laurel Park in November of 2016.
X Y Jet broke sharply to assume the lead along the backstretch and showed the way to his nine rivals into the stretch after setting fractions of :22.21 and :44.81 for the first half mile. First Growth, who captured the Claiming Crown Express at Gulfstream Dec. 2, chased the pacesetter before launching a serious outside bid leaving the turn into the homestretch. X Y Jet battled back while drifting out in deep stretch to secure an emotional victory for his trainer.
Photo credits Coglianese Photos / Kenny Martin