OLDSMAR - 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 over Jaguar Poz in 1:09.17, just .03 seconds off the stakes record. “Once he puts them away, that’s when he gets lazy on us.
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. Most important, the authoritative triumph may have stamped X Y Jet’s ticket to the United Arab Emirates for the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 31. X Y Jet finished second by a neck to Muarrab in that race two years ago.
X Y Jet paid $2.80 as the heavy favorite in the 34th edition of the Pelican. He had the crowd buzzing before, during and after the race, speeding to the lead from the outset and blazing the opening quarter in :21.81 seconds and the half in :44.41, almost running his six rivals off their feet.
X Y Jet had been off for more than a year after undergoing three surgical procedures on his left front knee. He won the Gr. III Mr. Prospector Stakes on Dec. 23 at Gulfstream in his return, then captured the Sunshine Millions Sprint on Jan. 20 by 5 1/2 lengths.