By Ray Paulick
X Y Jet dazzled six rivals to capture Saturday’s $100,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint at Gulfstream Park by 5 ½ lengths, taking another enormous step on the comeback trail that may well lead to a return visit to Dubai in late March.
The six-furlong sprint wrapped up Saturday’s Sunshine Millions stakes action for Florida-bred horses on Saturday’s 12-race program that also offered the $200,000 Classic, the $150,000 Turf, and the $150,000 Filly and Mare Turf.
One of the world’s elite sprinters in 2016 before going to the sideline for 13 months with a knee injury that required surgery, X Y Jet made a most promising return to action at Gulfstream Dec. 23 with a front-running victory in the Mr. Prospector (G3). The 6-year-old gelding had been sidelined since finishing third in the De Francis Dash (G3) at Laurel in November 2016.
Owned by Rockingham Ranch and Gelfenstein Farm, X Y Jet was hustled to the lead after the start and was never threatened thereafter, looking like the old X Y Jet who had won five straight stakes, including the Sunshine Millions Sprint, before finishing a close second in the 2016 Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1).
“I always knew he was a runner. I always thought he was one of the best sprinters two years ago. Hopefully, he comes back clean,” said trainer Jorge Navarro, whose brilliant sprinter has undergone three knee surgeries during his 19-race career.
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Photo credits Kenny Martin / Coglianese Photos