Xtra Heat may turn up the heat in the Middle East this spring. The millionaire sprinter, who won the Jan. 1 Interborough Handicap at Aqueduct, is scheduled to make her next start in the grade II Barbara Fritchie Handicap on Feb. 16 at Laurel Park before a possible trip to Dubai to contest the $2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-III) March 23 at Nad Al Sheba, according to trainer John Salzman.
"How many times she'll run this year depends on how she is doing and how the races come up. If she tells me she doesn't want to run, I won't run her," said Salzman who owns the filly with Kenneth Taylor and Harry Deitchman.
Xtra Heat has won 18 of 23 career starts, including 17 stakes wins for earnings of $1,323,305 and is in contention for an Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly or champion sprinter.
Prior to winning the Interborough, she finished third, behind Delaware Township and Early Flyer, in the Frank DeFrancis Memorial Dash (gr. I) Nov. 17 at Laurel Park and was second, 2 1/2 lengths behind Squirtle Squirt, in the Penske Auto Center Breeders Cup Sprint (gr. I) Oct. 27 at Belmont Park.
The Dubai Golden Shaheen is run at six furlongs at Nad Al Sheba on the undercard of the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I). The event, which offers $1.2 million to the winner, has been dominated in the last two years by North American runners. In 2000, the race was won by Big Jag, and last year's race was won by Caller One with Men's Exclusive finishing second.