XY Jet, a striking gray thoroughbred, was making his third appearance at the annual Golden Shaheen race in Dubai when the gates sprang open on March 30, 2019.

The gelding, who’d finished a close second in 2016 and 2018, burst out to an early lead and won wire-to-wire.

Trainer Jorge Navarro gave all credit to the 7-year-old horse, which had overcome multiple knee surgeries to compete at the highest levels of the $100 billion thoroughbred industry.

“He won the race and he was the best against the best horses here tonight,” Navarro said at the time.

But behind the scenes, the trainer had secretly plotted to illegally boost XY Jet’s ability as part of an international equine doping scheme that included dozens of other racing insiders, including the trainer of the legendary racehorse, Maximum Security, the feds alleged Monday.

In all, 27 trainers, veterinarians and drug distributors were charged in four separate indictments that the feds say detail a “systematic, international scheme” to corrupt races by doping horses with illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

Eight days before the Golden Shaheen, Navarro “personally administered various adulterated and misbranded PEDs to XY Jet, including a substance Navarro referred to as ‘monkey,’” according to an indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court.

Also named in the Navarro indictment is Jason Servis, Maximum Security’s trainer.

On Feb. 29, Maximum Security captured the inaugural running of the world’s most valuable race, the $20 million Saudi Cup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The champion thoroughbred was also first to cross the finish line at the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby last year, but was disqualified for interference by making contact with War of Will, which ran into Country House, later declared the winner.

The indictment doesn’t allege any wrongdoing in either of those races, but says that Servis doped “virtually all of the racehorses under his control” — including Maximum Security — with “adulterated and misbranded PEDs,” including one called SGF-1000.

Maximum Security allegedly got “a shot of SGF-1000” ahead of the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park in New Jersey last June.

A short time after receiving the injection, Maximum Security was tested by regulators, leading to a secretly recorded phone call between Servis and a co-defendant, veterinarian Kristian Rhein, who the feds say “reassured him that Maximum Security would not test positive.”

“They don’t even have a test for it. … There’s not a test for it in America,” Rhein allegedly said.

Rhein also told Servis that the SGF-1000 might produce a false-positive result for another substance, known as “Dex,” after which Servis spoke to another, unidentified vet who agreed to falsify records to make it appear Maximum Security had received it, according to the indictment.

But the alleged efforts failed to produce their intended result, with Maximum Security getting upset and finishing second to King for A Day.

“It stinks getting beat but that’s horse racing,” Servis told the Asbury Park Press at the time.

Trainer Jason Servis is charged with regularly doping horses.
Trainer Jason Servis is charged with regularly doping horses.AP

Maximum Security went on to win four of his next five races, including last month’s Saudi Cup, where the horse won $10 million.

During a morning news conference announcing the indictments, Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman employed an equine pun while saying that those charged were motivated by “unbridled greed.”

“These defendants engaged in this conduct, not for the love of the sport, and certainly not out of concern for the horses, but for money,” he said.

The evidence against Navarro includes a secretly recorded, April 3, 2019, phone call with drug distributor and co-defendant Marcos Zulueta, during which they discussed Navarro’s doping of XY Jet with “monkey” in the weeks leading to the Golden Shaheen, the indictment says.

“I gave it to him through 50 injections. I gave it to him through the mouth,” Navarro allegedly said.

Navarro also received a text message from another co-defendant, veterinarian Seth Fishman, congratulating him on XY Jet’s victory.

“Thank u boss u are a big part of it,” Navarro allegedly replied.

‘You know how many f–king horses he f–king killed and broke down.’

But the feds say that Navarro’s “preferred” PEDs were “blood-building” drugs — including “monkey” — that boost a horse’s red blood cell count to stimulate endurance and improve recovery.

But when combined with intense physical exercise, the drugs thicken the horse’s blood and strain its heart, which can lead to “cardiac issues or death,” the indictment says.

On Jan. 8, Navarro announced that XY Jet had died of a heart attack at age 8 — far short of what the Thoroughbred Adoption Network says is an average lifespan of 25 to 28.

An investigation into the circumstances of XY Jet’s death is continuing, the feds said.

The indictment also ties Navarro to at least six other horse deaths allegedly discussed during a secretly recorded call between co-defendants Nicholas Surick and Michael Tannuzzo, who are both identified as drug distributors.

“You know how many f–king horses he f–king killed and broke down that I made disappear? []. … You know how much trouble he could get in … if they found … the six horses we killed?” Surick allegedly said.

In addition to “monkey” and SGF-1000, court papers detail a variety of other PEDs designed to make horses run faster and mask their pain, with names including “red acid,” “bleeder” and “frozen pain.”

One veterinarian, Louis Grasso allegedly distributed actual cobra venom to be used as a painkiller, and court papers include a color photo of the snake juice in a tiny glass jar with a lime green label that says “PURE TOXIN.”

Grasso also distributed a variety of “bronchodilators” referred to as “Bronk” or “breather” drugs, which are used in part to increase a horse’s oxygen intake and reduce fatigue, the indictment says.

Images included in court documents released Monday, March 9, 2020, regarding charges against Jorge Navarro for allegedly participating in a horse racing doping scheme.

On Oct. 2, 2019, Grasso allegedly advised trainer Thomas Guido III on the proper way to dope horses and noted that fatal consequences from being “over juiced” wasn’t uncommon.

“I’ve seen that happen 20 times,” he allegedly said.

One of the defendants, Christopher Oakes, allegedly created his own customized, “undetectable” drugs designed to administered through a process called “drench,” in which they’re forced directly into a horse’s stomach through a tube inserted through its nostril.

Photos of some of the drugs seized from Oakes’ barn in Pennsylvania during a raid on March 14, 2019, show a plastic bottle containing a dark red liquid with the hand-written words “Blood Builder.”

One trainer, Conor Flynn, is accused of likening himself to an Old West outlaw when he allegedly said on Oct. 23, 2019, that he was willing to inject his racehorses with unknown PEDs because he’s a “f–king desperado.”

Flynn, who appeared in Manhattan federal court wearing a black hoodie, declined to comment to The Post following his release on a $100,000 bond.

Most of the defendants were arrested outside the court’s jurisdiction, and attorneys for many — including Navarro, Servis, Rhein, Zulueta, Fishman and Grasso — either said their clients would plead not guilty or didn’t return messages.