X Y Jet was already home free in the $100,000 Pelican Stakes when jockey Emisael Jaramillo tapped the strapping gray 6-year-old gelding with his stick at the 1/8-mile pole.
“It’s not because the horse was getting tired. This horse wants competition,” said trainer Jorge Navarro after X Y Jet’s 7-length victory from Jaguar Poz in 1:09.17, .03 seconds off the stakes record. “Once he puts them away, that’s when he gets lazy on us.
“He has not been an easy horse to train. He has great ability, but he can have a horrible temper,” said Navarro, who has X Y Jet saddled in the paddock for that reason. “(Jaramillo) said he didn’t want to take a chance – if he’s going to win, make sure he’s going to win.”
The victory was the ninth in 20 career starts for the Florida-bred son of Kantharos-Soldiersingsblues, by Lost Soldier, who is owned by Rockingham Ranch and Gelfenstein Farm. The winner’s share of $70,000 raised his career earnings to $990,813.
It also gave X Y Jet a 1-for-2 record at Tampa Bay Downs, where he lost the 2014 Pasco Stakes by a neck to Catalina Red – a horse Navarro later trained, conditioning him to a victory in the Grade II Churchill Downs Stakes two years ago.
Most important, the authoritative triumph seemed to stamp X Y Jet’s ticket to the United Arab Emirates for the $2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 31 at Meydan Racecourse. X Y Jet finished second in that race two years ago by a neck to Muarrab.
“He wants to go to Dubai. We want a vacation,” Navarro said, grinning. “We did the right thing coming here today, and now we’re ready for Dubai.”
Photo credits Tampa Bay Downs