Champion Xtra Heat Works Toward Princess Rooney

Champion Xtra Heat Works Toward Princess Rooney
Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese
Xtra Heat, Vagrancy winner will run in Princess Rooney Stakes.
Edited release from Calder Race Course
Xtra Heat and Willa On The Move each worked a half-mile at Laurel Park Monday morning in preparation for 'Summit of Speed' stakes at Calder Race Course on Saturday.

Times for the two fillies varied significantly, but they seemed to satisfy both trainers.

With trainer John Salzman, Sr. and part-owner Kenny Taylor watching, Eclipse Award winner Xtra Heat was timed in :49 1/5 under jockey Harry Vega, who will be aboard in the $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. II).

"It was what we wanted," said Salzman, who a week ago, sent the 4-year-old filly out for a five-furlong move in 1:02 4/5. "She doesn't have to break any records in the morning. I think she's doing OK."

Trainer Rodney Jenkins sent out 3-year-old filly Willa On The Move out for a sharp half-mile in :47 4/5, her final drill before running in the $250,000 Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III).

"She seems to want to duck in when she's in the stretch," Jenkins said. "But she seemed to be going all right this morning." Jenkins pointed out that he wants to get her ready for more speed since she is coming off a second-place finish in the one-mile Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont in her last start. Jockey Ramon Dominguez will be aboard for the Azalea.

Jenkins also trains the unbeaten colt Running Tide, winner of the Leonard Richards Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park in his last start. He sent the son of Run Softly out for a half-mile in :47 3/5, but has not committed him to the $250,000 Carry Back Stakes Saturday.

"He's still a question mark," Jenkins said of the trip to Florida. "I won't know until tomorrow (Tuesday)." Jenkins said that Dominguez will also ride Running Tide if he runs in the Carry Back.

Trainer Tony Dutrow was making plans to send Nice Boots Baby to Calder for the Azalea. "She's going on the same plane with all the others," he said. Dutrow added that the daughter of Storm Boot will be ridden by Mario Pino, who rode seven winners at Colonial Downs on Sunday.

Nice Boots Baby is owned by William S. Farish, Jr. and will be making her first start since a disappointing fifth-place finish in the Dearly Precious Stakes at Aqueduct on February 16 as the 2-to-5 favorite. She had won her previous three career starts easily, including the Ruthless Stakes at Aqueduct.

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