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DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – The third time was the charm for trainer Jorge Navarro’s X Y Jet, who perfect third act for his Hollywood-esque story after finally triumphing in Saturday’s Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored by Gulf News (G1) at Meydan Racecourse.
Breaking briskly from post 3 as the 6/5 favorite under Emisael Jaramillo, X Y Jet flew straight to the front while Matera Sky tracked him from off of his right hip. As the field turned for home, Jaramillo remained chilly aboard X Y Jet before unleashing him with 1 1/2 furlongs remaining.
With images of twice being narrowly defeated at the wire still in his mind, Jaramillo kept his steed to task. Inside the final furlong, the Jet took off and drew away convincingly for the win. Owned by Rockingham Ranch and Gelfenstein Farm, X Y Jet crossed with a 1 1/2-length advantage in a final time of 1:10.75 for the 6-furlong sprint over the fast main track.
“I’m very happy,” Jaramillo said. “For me, this is so special. I’m very excited. I’ve come back two times and now I’ve won today. It’s very emotional for everyone with the horse. What a horse he is.”
Though unable to keep pace with the winner, Matera Sky far outran his 45/1 odds to finish second ahead of Imperial Hint. Along the inside, Promises Fulfilled showed some interest late but came up short and finished fourth, with Drafted a late-running fifth after getting squeezed at the start. Fight Hero took sixth over Nine Below Zero, while Switzerland and Tato Key completed the order of finish.
Two-time defending Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) champion Roy H, also co-owned by Rockingham Ranch and expected to be the post-time favorite, was scratched two days earlier due to a sore hoof.
X Y Jet’s win was a redemption story after finishing a close second in both the 2016 and the 2018 editions, not to mention enduring three separate knee surgeries in his career. The 7-year-old gelded son of Kantharos now sports a record of 25-12-7-2 with $3,095,513 earned.
“I don’t know what I’m feeling right now,” an emotional Navarro said after the race. “I guess it will hit me later on. I do feel a lot of pride in my horse. They knocked him and they forgot he lost twice here by a nose, but he did it today. He won the race and he was the best against the best horses here tonight.”
X Y Jet’s win was the 13th by an American-based runner in the Golden Shaheen’s 24-year history.
X Y Jet returned $4.60 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.20 to show. Matera Sky brought back $33.60 to place and $15 to show, while Imperial Hint paid $3.20 to show.
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