A pair of the top filly-mare sprinters will clash when they face-off Saturday in the grade III $150,000 Endine Stakes at six furlongs at Delaware Park.
The Endine is the richest race for divisional rivals this year, and appropriately, it has attracted the deepest field, headed by Kenneth Taylor (et al)'s Xtra Heat and Marshall and Schoonover's Big Bambu.
Having evolved from a $5,000 sales purchase into a sprinting terror and grade I stakes winner, Xtra Heat looks to notch her 16th win in 19 career starts in the Endine. She's never lost at Saturday's six-furlong distance, and she's actually getting three pounds from Big Bambu under the allowance conditions. She'll carry 118 -- including jockey Rick Wilson -- for trainer John Salzman.
Big Bambu enters off four successive stakes wins -- including her score in the grade III Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga early last month.
The remainder of the field, from the rail, out: Ivy's Jewel, 118, Jeremy Rose; Wired To Fly, 114, Mike McCarthy; and Hattiesburg, 118, with no rider named by trainer Tom Amoss.