Xtra Heat led at every call under a hand ride from jockey Mark Johnston to win the $75,000 Kattegat's Pride Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths on Friday at Laurel Park. The 2-year-old daughter of Dixieland Heat earned her eighth career win from nine starts and seventh stakes win.
"She came out of the gate like a bullet today," said Johnston. "We cleared the chute, and she was well in hand and opening up. I really didn't ask her to run until we hit the turn. She added a few more lengths to her lead, and we just coasted home. She got a little tired inside the 1/16th pole, but she finished well considering she was going 7/8ths."
The lone loss of Xtra Heat's career came in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), in which she finished 10th. After that loss, she bounced back to win the $40,000 Snow White Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths. Xtra Heat's only graded stakes win came in a neck decision over Gold Mover in the 6 1/2-furlong Astarita Stakes (gr. II). Trained by John E. Salzman Sr., Xtra Heat earned $45,000 for owners Kenneth Taylor and others, boosting her career bankroll to $262,110.
"She's been very good to us. You don't find bargains like this very often," said Salzman of the $4,000 purchase. "Her only blemish is the Breeders' Cup, and she had absolutely no chance after getting in early trouble. That was a rough run race. I don't think I'll try going long again. She has all that natural speed -- why not use it. We'll continue to run her right through the winter -- make the money while you can."
Xtra Heat completed the seven-furlong Kattegat's Pride in 1:25.63 on a fast track. Ultravase came home second, a half-length clear of Strike It Up. Ghaza Run was fourth, followed by Salinity and Launch a Double.
The 7-10 favorite, Xtra Heat returned $3.40, $2.20, and $2.10 and led an exacta worth $17.20. (Chart, Equibase