Jet Propulsion Fires Rockets in Miami Mile

Dennis Punches’ front-running Jet Propulsion spurted away in the stretch and prevailed by 1 1/2 lengths at odds of 25-1 in the $105,000 Miami Mile Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) {VIDEO} on the grass at Calder Race Course on Saturday.

Ridden by Eduardo Nunez, Jet Propulson got brave after getting away with unhurried fractions (:24, :48 1:11) and scooted away to open up by 2 1/2 lengths with a furlong to go. Jet Propulsion was under pressure from Nunez but held on for victory over the stalking Giant Wrecker, ridden by Javier Castellano.  Paradise Dancer, who also stalked the winner during the one-mile journey, finished third with Elvis Trujillo aboard. The winning time was 1:34 on firm going, two-fifths of a second off the track mark.

"I thought I was going to have some company and a lot of pressure out there but nobody went with us," Nunez said. "At the half-mile pole I looked around for the pressure again and still nobody was there. That gave us the chance to sit still until the quarter pole and at that point there was no catching us.”

Classic Campaign, the slight 2-1 choice in the field of 11, finished fifth after rallying from far back at the hedge.

It was the second stakes victory for 4-year-old gelding Jet Propulsion, who was claimed by trainer Daniel Hurtak for $25,000 at Calder in August 2005. Jet Propulsion, who also won the $100,000 Needles Stakes at Calder last summer, has won five of eight on the Calder lawn. Overall, he's 7-8-1 in 27 starts with earnings of $215,695.

Jet Propulsion was coming off a fifth-place finish in Tampa Bay Downs' Turf Classic April 7.

"He’s not a very good shipper and didn’t run his best race last time in Tampa," noted Donna Green, Hurtak's assistant. "The key to him is how he does in the paddock and he was perfect today and was able to really relax in the race.”

Sent off as the eighth choice, Jet Propulsion paid $52.00, $17.00 and $11.20.  Giant Wrecker returned $8.20 and $5.60, while Paradise Dancer paid $6.20 to show.

Hotstufanthensome finished fourth, followed by Classic Campaign, Can't Beat It, Elizabul, Gigawatt, Manchu Prince, Touched by Madness and Fancy Silver.

(Chart, Equibase)

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