July 24, 2024

Imperial Hint, X Y Jet square off in Mr. Prospector

Imperial Hint successfully defend his title and established a new track record winning the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) at Saratoga (c) Adam Coglianese Photography

A pair of dynamite sprinters, Imperial Hint and X Y Jet, highlight a field of six in the $100,000 Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream Park. Contested at six furlongs previously, the Mr. Prospector has been extended to seven furlongs this year.

Imperial Hint will return to action after being scratched by stewards prior to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita on November 2. The 6-year-old horse posted repeat victories in his last two starts, winning the September 28 Vosburgh (G1) at Belmont Park and the A.G. Vanderbilt (G1) at Saratoga. In the latter, he established a new track record (1:07.92) for the smashing four-length decision and registered a career-best 113 Brisnet Speed rating.

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

A Florida-bred son of Imperialism, Imperial Hint has tuned up for the Mr. Prospector with three consecutive bullet works at Tampa Bay Downs. He has won multiple times at the seven-furlong distance, but Imperial Hint posted his last unplaced finish, a sixth in the 2018 Churchill Downs (G2), in the most recent attempt. Javier Castellano retains the mount.

Seven furlongs is also a concern for X Y Jet, who captured the 2015 and 2017 editions of the Mr. Prospector but is winless from three starts at Saturday’s distance. The 7-year-old gelded son of Kantharos will come back from a 266-day hiatus, defeating Imperial Hint (third) when posting a superb win in March’s Golden Shaeen (G1) last out, and the gray Florida-bred is a seven-time winner at Gulfstream.

Jorge Navarro trains and Emisael Jaramillo rides.

“He’s stretching out and I’m stretching out,” Navarro said. “From this race — we’ll see how he comes out — our next goal is the Sunshine Millions (on January 18).”

Diamond Oops, winner of the Smile Sprint (G3) at Gulfstream in late June, is also entered. The versatile four-year-old gelding finished a non-threatening second to Imperial Hint in the Vanderbilt before stretching out for his next two outings, finishing second in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) and eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) after a poor start. Julien Leparoux has the call for Patrick Biancone.

Completing the field are Lasting Legacy, who brings a three-race win streak to his first graded attempt for Jason Servis; stakes victor Zenden, who exits an allowance win at Gulfstream Park West; and Home Base, a recent allowance scorer at Churchill Downs.