02/25/2016 3:00PM

X Y Jet looms large in Gulfstream Park Sprint

Barbara D. Livingston
X Y Jet wins the Sunshine Millions Sprint in January at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The connections, both new and old, of X Y Jet hope to prove their horse is the fastest in the world when they send their speedball to Dubai next month for the rich Golden Shaheen. But before he makes the trip, X Y Jet will try to enhance his ever-improving résumé with a victory in Saturday’s Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint.

X Y Jet, who now races for the partnership of Rockingham Ranch and Gelfenstein Farm following a deal that was finalized earlier this week, will likely go postward the shortest-priced favorite on Saturday’s excellent 13-race program facing seven rivals in the 6 1/2-furlong Sprint. X Y Jet will bring some imposing credentials into the race, having won four races in a row, the last three by a combined margin of 18 lengths. Each of those victories came at six furlongs, including the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector on Dec. 19 and the Sunshine Millions Sprint to launch his current campaign four weeks later. And trainer Jorge Navarro says he doesn’t think he’s peaked just yet.

“He’s training the best I’ve ever seen him train at the present time,” said Navarro. “He’s ready. We expect him to do the same thing he’s been doing again on Saturday.”

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Although there is some other speed signed on for the Sprint, none seem capable of keeping up with the favorite if he breaks cleanly from post 5 under regular rider Emisael Jaramillo. Those who appear to have the best chance of springing the upset should the favorite falter include Ready for Rye, Candip, or the Grade 1-placed Viva Majorca.

The versatile Ready for Rye will make his first start since finishing seventh after setting the pace in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. He easily defeated X Y Jet when registering his most important victory at 3, a 2 3/4-length triumph in the Grade 2 Swale here last winter.

“You have to start somewhere, and you can’t always be afraid of one horse,” said Tom Albertrani, who trains Ready for Rye for Chalk Racing.

Candip is coming off his finest performance yet, a head victory over Trouble Kid, for which he received a lifetime-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure winning a high-priced optional-claiming dash here on Jan. 27.

Viva Majorca is Grade 1-placed, having finished third last summer at Saratoga in the Forego, but he’s been idle since a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Ack Ack at Churchill Downs five months earlier.



X Y Jet, by Kantharos

Last 3 Beyers: 105-108-101

◗ Those looking for a possible chink in his armor will point to the fact he’s never won a race in three starts beyond six furlongs, although he was narrowly beaten twice at seven furlongs in stakes at 3.

Ready for Rye, by City Zip

Last 3 Beyers: 86-104-93

◗ He ran well over this track last season, finishing second in the Spectacular Bid before his upset win in the Swale, for which he received a Beyer best of 105.

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Heart to Heart in Canadian Turf

Just like X Y Jet, expect to see Heart to Heart play “catch me if you can” in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf. The speedy five-time graded stakes winner will be favored over a field that includes defending race winner Long On Value along with Grade 2 winners Avanzare and Divisidero.

Heart to Heart has won three of his last four starts including the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale in wire-to-wire fashion here earlier in the meet, his lone loss during that span coming over a yielding course at Keeneland in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile. He’ll share high weight of 123 pounds with Avanzare, who came from near the rear of the field to capture the Del Mar Mile Handicap last summer for trainer Tom Proctor.

Long On Value is winless since overcoming trouble to register a 1 3/4-length victory over Grand Tito in the 2015 Canadian Turf for the second graded stakes win of his career. Divisidero, winner of the Grade 2 American Turf at Churchill Downs at 3, has not started since finishing seventh in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby in July.



Heart to Heart, by English Channel

Last 3 Beyers: 104-104-70

◗ “He’s been training as well as ever,” said trainer Brian Lynch. “If he’s allowed to run free, he’s dangerous; it’s tough for them to get past him.”

Avanzare, by Grand Reward

Last 3 Beyers: 91-100-101

He is 4 for 8 while never having finished worse than third at the one-mile distance of the Canadian Turf.

Long On Value, by Value Plus

Last 3 Beyers: 95-93-98

◗ He won this race last year off an eight-week layoff, but comes in Saturday having been idle more than eight months since a fifth-place finish in Belmont’s Grade 3 Poker on June 13.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 2 Divisidero. Trainer Buff Bradley is 13-0-1-0 over the past five years in turf routes following a layoff of 180 days or more. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 3 Long On Value. Trainer Bill Mott is 70-14-12-8 with a $2.16 ROI over the past five years in turf routes following a layoff of 180 days or more. Click for more details. Mike Hogan