HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Rockingham Ranch and Gelfenstein Farm’s X Y Jet showed zero signs of rust or fatigue in his American racing return on Saturday, blitzing the field with ease in the Grade 3, $250,000 Smile Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Streaking out of post 8 as the 3-5 favorite under Emisael Jaramillo, X Y Jet quickly took command and cut down cleanly to the rail before posting splits of :22.16 and :44.36. Hitting the top of the stretch with a widening lead, Jaramillo kept the Jorge Navarro trainee to task for much of the run before easing up in the final stages and crossing the wire with a 2 1/4-length margin in a final time of 1:09.61 for the 6-furlong main track sprint.
“I’m very grateful to Jorge Navarro for giving me this great horse to ride,” Jaramilo said. “He’s a horse that can beat any type of race horse, he’s just wonderful. I know him very well and feel comfortable riding him, so I’m very happy to be able to ride him and have so many victories with him.”
Reason to Soar was the next horse over the finish line, but he was disqualified to fifth because he had swerved out several lanes when exiting the far turn, which impeded Splash Rules and caused that foe to clip heels before he came across the wire in fifth. The official finish then placed Sweetontheladies second at odds of 91-1, with Petrov taking third by a head over Splash Rules. Mo Cash, Classic Rock, and Mr. Jordan completed the order of finish.
X Y Jet’s win was his sixth straight over the southern Florida course and improved his overall record to 22-10-7-2 with career earnings of $1,558,663. The 6-year-old gelded son of Kantharos was making his first start on American soil since finishing second in the Group 1 Golden Shaheen in Dubai, a race he had led until the final jump. Navarro, who has trained X Y Jet since December of 2014, was emotional in the winner’s circle.
“Every time he runs, he does that to me,” Navarro said. “He’s had three surgeries, what he’s done, what he’s accomplished, people still count him out. What does he have to accomplish for people to see that he’s the real deal? He might not be the top sprinter, but he’s the real deal. He shows up every time.”
X Y Jet returned $3.20 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.10 to show. Sweetontheladies brought back $28.20 to place and $12.40 to show, while Petrov paid $9.40 to show.