News and STORIES

Imperial Hint, X Y Jet Set To Face Off In Mr. Prospector

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Saturday December 21, 2019
The top-class Florida-bred sprinters are set to go against each other in the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) on Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

The seven-furlong race is for 3-year-olds and older, and it is important for grade 1 and group 1 winners. Imperial Hint will make his first start since being scratched in the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita Park. The race will be the first start for X Y Jet since he took the March 30 Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored by Gulf News (G1). 

The two horses faced off against each other in the Golden Shaheen. In that running, Imperial Hint finished two lengths behind X Y Jet in third. 

Imperial Hint

Raymond Momone's Imperial Hint went into the Breeders' Cup after taking repeat victories in the Vosburgh Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park and the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) at Saratoga Race Course. In that six-furlong test, he set a track record in 1:07.92. 

As he was having glue-on shoes applied for the Breeders' Cup, Imperial Hint suffered a blister on his coronet band and ended up being scratched by veterinarians. 

After the minor issue was resolved, Imperial Hint began training again with Luis Carvajal Jr. at Tampa Bay Downs. The 6-year-old son of Imperialism worked five furlongs on Dec. 15 in :59 flat. It was his third consecutive bullet work since arriving at his winter base in Florida. 

"I can't wait to see him race again, even though it's seven-eighths," Carvajal said. "I wish it was three-quarters. He is definitely a specialist going three-quarters, but he won at seven-eighths at Laurel (in the 2017 General George Stakes, G3). I have no doubt he can do seven-eighths."

Imperial Hint was victorious in his lone start at Gulfstream in 2017. He took the Smile Sprint Stakes (G3) at six furlongs. 

X Y Jet

X Y Jet is a 7-year-old Kantharos gelding campaigned by Rockingham Ranch, Gelfenstein Farm, and David Bernsen. In October, he returned to work for trainer Jorge Navarro. He took the Mr. Prospector in 2015 and 2017, and he won seven of 14 starts at the track. He placed in five other races. 

"He's stretching out, and I'm stretching out," Navarro said. 

X Y Jet has won at six furlongs, and he finished second twice in three tries at seven furlongs.

Saturday's race will likely be an important prep for Dubai, where he could take a repeat victory. On Dec. 16, he prepared to race again with a :49.85 half-mile breeze at Palm Meadows Training Center. 

"From this race — we'll see how he comes out — our next goal is the Sunshine Millions in January," Navarro said.

Rest of the Field

Diamond Ops will be at the top weight, 126 pounds, along with Imperial Hint. The 4-year-old Lookin At Lucky gelding has taken three stakes at Gulfstream, including the Smile Sprint on June 29. 

He finished second in the Vanderbilt, crossing the line four lengths behind Imperial Hint. In the Oct. 5 Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (G1T) at Keeneland, he passed late to finish second behind Bowies Hero.

In the Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1), Diamond Ops ran eighth. 

Gary and Mary West's Lasting Legacy is carrying 124 pounds along with X Y Jet. Trained by Jason Sevis, the 5-year-old son of Tapizar has taken three consecutive races. In his most recent start, he won the Sept. 28 Mr. Prospector Stakes at Monmouth Park. 

Finishing the field is LLP Performance Horse's Zenden, who took a stakes race at the same course a year ago, and Patricia's Hope's last-out winner Home Base will also run.