HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Raymond Mamone’s Imperial Hint headlines an especially deep field of top-level sprinters in Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream Park, where the multiple Grade 1 stakes winner will make his highly anticipated return to action after being scratched from the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) Nov. 2.
Imperial Hint, who was scratched on the morning of the Sprint at Santa Anita due to a minor foot issue, will ship across Alligator Alley from Tampa Bay Downs, where the 6-year-old son of Imperialism has produced three consecutive bullet workouts in preparation for his start in the seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up.
“I can’t wait to see him race again, even though it’s seven-eighths,” trainer Luis Carvajal Jr. said. “I wish it was three-quarters. He is definitely a specialist going three-quarters, but he won at seven-eighths at Laurel [in the 2017 General George (G3)]. I have no doubt he can do seven-eighths.”
Imperial Hint notched back-to-back six-furlong victories in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) at Saratoga and Vosburgh (G1) at Belmont for the second year in a row. The ‘Little Rocket’ shattered the Saratoga track-record while running six furlongs in 1:07.92 in the Vanderbilt July 27.
Bred in Florida, Imperial Hint has raced only once at Gulfstream Park but made the most of the occasion, earning a berth in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Sprint with a triumph in the $250,000 Smile Sprint (G3).
“He definitely showed he liked the track,” Carvajal said. “I’m looking forward to bringing him back.”
Javier Castellano has the return mount Imperial Hint, who has won 14 of 23 starts and nearly $2.2 million in purses.
Two-time Mr. Prospector winner X Y Jet is scheduled to seek his third victory in the stakes that honors the champion sprinter and prolific sire. Rockingham Ranch and Gelfenstein Farm’s 7-year-old gelding, like Imperial Hint, has been a six-furlong specialist.
“He’s stretching out and I’m stretching out,” said trainer Jorge Navarro, who saddled X Y Jet for Mr. Prospector wins in 2015 and 2017.
X Y Jet will make his first start since capturing the $2.5 million Golden Shaheen (G1) on the March 30 Dubai World Cup (G1) program. The son of Kantharos has produced a series of six strong workouts at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, in preparation for his return.
“This is the first time that X Y Jet has come out perfect out of everything,” Navarro said.
X Y Jet, who has won 12 of 25 starts and nearly $3.1 million in purses, is being pointed toward a return trip to Dubai in late March.
“From this race – we’ll see how he comes out – our next goal is the [Jan. 18] Sunshine Millions in January,” said Navarro, who awarded the return call aboard X Y Jet to Emisael Jaramillo.
Diamond Oops will seek to rebound from a disappointing off-the-board finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G2) at Santa Anita Nov. 2. The 4-year-old son of Lookin at Lucky lost all chance when he stumbled at the start.
Prior to the Breeders’ Cup disappointment, Diamond Oops captured the Smile Sprint (G3) on the June 30 Summit of Speed program before back-to-back Grade 1 runner-up finishes in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt and the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland. In the Vanderbilt, Diamond Oops finished 3 ½ lengths ahead of third-place finisher Mitole.
Julien Leparoux has the return mount aboard Diamond Oops, who is owned by Diamond 100 Racing Club LLC, Amy Dunne, D P Racing LLC and Patrick Biancone Racing LLC.
LLP Performance Horse LLC’s Zenden makes his return to graded-stakes company off a sharp optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Park West Nov. 3. The 3-year-old son of Fed Biz, who had been idle nearly seven months, raced at Gulfstream Park three times during the 2018-2019 Championship Meet. He broke his maiden at first asking before capturing the Buffalo Man Stakes and finishing second in the Swale (G3).
Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez has the call.
Gary and Mary West’s Lasting Legacy is slated to make his graded-stakes debut Saturday while seeking his fourth straight victory. Since being transferred to trainer Jason Servis this year, the 5-year-old son of Tapizar won back-to-back optional claiming allowances and the ungraded Mr. Prospector Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Irad Ortiz Jr. is scheduled to ride Lasting Legacy for the first time Saturday.
Patricia’s Hope LLC’s Home Base, who has won three of his last four starts, enters the Mr. Prospector off a victory in a seven-furlong optional claiming allowance at Churchill Downs. Chris Landeros has the mount aboard the 4-year-old son of Street Sense.