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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Can Saturday’s Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream Park only be a Grade 3? I suppose for horses such as Zenden, Lasting Legacy and Home Base, sure. But for Imperial Hint, XY Jet and Diamond Oops? It’s almost insulting, but you’ve got to start somewhere, especially if you have Dubai in mind.

The two headliners, defending 2019 Golden Shaheen titlist XY Jet and third finisher behind him last March, Imperial Hint are certainly looking toward the desert. Diamond Oops, a pleasant surprise this year, has bigger plans down the road though it’s harder to envision at the moment.

The race has been billed as Imperial Hint vs. X Y Jet. We see it more as Imperial Hint’s trainer, Luis Carvajal Jr., vs. the vets that had him scratched from the Breeders’ Sprint because of an issue with the coronet band on one of his forelegs, which Carvajal has termed “nothing” [at all serious].

As the manager of a career in which his horse has compiled a lifetime slate of (23) 14-2-3, it’s safe to assume that no one knows him better. Based at Tampa Bay Downs, Imperial Hint ships south with three bullets in his holster and a chip on his trainer’s shoulder.

Regular rider Javier Castellano likely will try to put his mount right on the shoulder of X Y Jet, a little problematic since he’s drawn outside a rival that’s never been beaten to the half-mile pole in the last three years. Whatever Castellano decides, his mount will have no excuses.

We’re taking Imperial Hint to win, no price restrictions, and keying him first in exactas with Lasting Legacy and Diamond Oops. {My bad: we failed to note our super-exotics play; repeating the above but adding X Y Jet to the trifecta mix–mea culpa}

FRIDAY: Results pending

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