HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- X Y Jet indicated he's cycling back to his peak form from two years ago by running away to an easy 5 1/2-length victory over an unlucky Mo Cash in the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
It was the fourth and final stakes on Saturday's Sunshine Millions program at Gulfstream.
X Y Jet won the 2016 Sunshine Millions Sprint in similar fashion by notching the fourth in a series of five straight victories that led to his second-place finish in the Dubai Golden Shaheen. Trainer Jorge Navarro is hoping his speedster will continue to flourish while on target for a return trip to Dubai later this spring.
With regular rider Emisael Jaramillo aboard, X Y Jet quickly sprinted to command from his inside post, settled into the stretch with a comfortable advantage and was never seriously threatened. Mo Cash had to steady in traffic a couple of times near the inside in the run down the backstretch, split rivals while rallying into the stretch and was easily second-best, finishing 1 1/4 lengths in front of Sweetontheladies.
The Sunshine Sprint was the second win on the comeback trail for X Y Jet, who returned from a 13-month layoff to win the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector by a half-length here Dec. 23. X Y Jet, a 6-year-old son of Kantharos, has endured three knee surgeries during a career that has seen him win eight of 19 starts for earnings in excess of $920,000.
Owned by the partnership of Rockingham Ranch and Gelfenstein Farm, X Y Jet completed six furlongs over a fast track in 1:09.86 and paid $3.60.
"I always thought he was one of the best sprinters two years ago," Jorge Navarro said. "Hopefully he comes back clean (from this race).
"After three knee surgeries, you never know what to expect. But so far I've been able to train him now, he hasn't taken a bad step. I was able to work him twice (since the Mr. Prospector), which was a big score. The last time I had him, I wasn't even able to work him between races."
Navarro said if all continues to go well, he could bring X Y Jet back in the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint on March 3, the same race he used as a final prep before the 2016 Dubai Golden Shaheen.
Trainer Ron Spatz said he felt fortunate Mo Cash was able to get up for second money behind the odds-on favorite.
"Considering the trip he had, I thought he ran great," Spatz said.