Rockingham Ranch and Gelfenstein Farm’s X Y Jet romped to a 7 ¾-length victory in Wednesday’s featured ninth race at Gulfstream Park, punching his ticket to Dubai for a third run in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) March 30.
Great to have @RockinghamRanch's Racing Manager @RealBrianTrump join us on the line today with @TVGMike & @MattCTVG to talk about X Y Jet, Stormy Liberal & more. Take a listen! pic.twitter.com/vlfEuDgWhr— TVG (@TVG) February 14, 2019
Sent to post as the 2-5 favorite in a field of six in the stakes-caliber six-furlong optional claiming allowance, X Y Jet and jockey Emisael Jaramillo enjoyed a carefree trip while registering an uncontested front-running victory.
Trainer Jorge Navarro, however, had some uneasy moments leading up to Wednesday’s pivotal race.
“I’m a little emotional. We were going to scratch him. He tied up on us Sunday for the first time,” Navarro said. “Thank God, we have an amazing team.”
Trump (@realBrianTrump) February 14, 2019
The 7-year-old gelding rebounded from the cramping condition while running six-furlongs over a sloppy track in 1:09.98, built on fractions of 22.4, 45.45 and 57.63 seconds. Santiamen finished second, three lengths ahead of Reason to Soar. Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Noble Indy finished fourth.
Navarro said a return trip to Dubai hinges on how X Y Jet exits Wednesday’s race.
“He looked good hitting the ground. Jaramillo felt everything perfect,” said Navarro, referring to physical issues that have interrupted his career on several occasions.
X Y Jet has won 11 of 24 starts and more than $1.5 million in purses.
The popular 7-year-old gelding finished second twice in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1), a neck behind Muarrab in 2016 and a head behind Mind Your Biscuits last year.
X Y Jet returned from Dubai last year to capture the Smile Sprint (G3) at Gulfstream on June 30 before heading to the sidelines for 6 ½ months. The Jorge Navarro-trained son of Kantharos was upset in his Jan. 19 return in the Sunshine Millions Sprint, in which he came up uncharacteristically short to finish fourth after breaking from the rail post position and being subjected to heavy pace pressure.