by Jerry Shottenkirk
December 22, 2017
Unofficially, it’s X Y Jet Day at Gulfstream Park.
The fantastic sprinter makes his 1st start in 13 months and makes it over a racing strip that has treated him very well.
X Y Jet heads the Grade 3 Mr Prospector Stakes, which is the 10th race and the 3rd leg of a very inviting late Pick 4. The Jorge Navarro-trained son of Kantharos won last year’s Mr. Prospector in an unforgettable effort. He was 2-1 on the board but ran like he was 1-20 as he opened up nearly eight lengths after a half-mile, was 10.5 in front at the furlong pole and cruised by 9 1-4 lengths. It was his 3rd win in nine local starts.
The 5-year-old gelding has not been out since a 3rd-place showing as the 1-5 favorite in the Grade 3 DeFrancis Memorial at Laurel, which was won by the talented Ivan Fallunovalot.
X Y Jet has been on a steady work pattern since mid-September and is more than ready to get back to running. He brings a 6 of 17 lifetime record and earnings of $801,153 into the sprint. A good portion of the money total came in March, when he was 2nd in the Grade 1 $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen.
He’s a single on this Pick 4 ticket, and here’s a look at the others offerings in the sequence:
Todd Pletcher’s 37-percent success rate at GP is an attention getter and New York-bred pupil Barbarossa cruises into his 1st trip against open company off a sharp 8.5-length score over state-bred maidens at Belmont. The More Than Ready colt’s life changed when he went over to the turf and he gets his 1st two-turn run today.
Despite the fact it’s a trip away from Belmont, it’s likely the competition here is the best he’s seen.
Barbarossa is on this ticket, but there are options as well. Earth has a legit chance and will be a decent price, while Sand Dancer and War Chest also are worthy of inclusion.
This is a well-balanced event for bottom claimers and is the biggest spread race of this ticket. A half-dozen made the cut here, including Bama Bound, Lifes Reward, Recalibrating, Powerline, Inmyfathersimage and Sambrook Edge.
Bama Bound is the likely favorite. He was buried going two turns in a Claiming Crown but has competed with solid company and looks for his 4th win locally. There are many options here, and the feeling here is that there’s a good chance for a healthy payoff.
X Y Jet (single)
The finale is a very competitive two-turn turf test for maidens.
Closing Statement is the favorite here and deservedly so after a 2nd and 3rd in his last two in New York. He gets Tyler Gaffalione, and that switch doesn’t hurt his chances. Sunapee never made a big move in either of his two in Kentucky, but those were on main tracks. The son of Scat Daddy should enjoy his 1st chance on grass. Giggle Byte, a first-timer from the Todd Pletcher barn, will be a big player if he runs up to the other performances from his barn, which is hitting nearly 40 percent in the 1st few weeks of this season.
Here’s the suggested Pick 4 ticket:
Race 8: #1 Earth, #5 Sand Dancer, #7 Barbarossa, #12 War Chest.
Race 9: #3 Bama Bound, #4 Lifes Reward, #7 Recalibrating, #8 Powerline, #9 Inmyfathersimage, #10 Sambrook Edge.
Race 10: #6 X Y Jet
Race 11: #3 Closing Statement, #7 Sunapee, #12 Giggle Byte.
50-cent Pick 4: 1-5-7-12 with 3-4-7-8-9-10 with 6 with 3-7-12 ($36).