The last round of preliminaries for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) takes place coast-to-coast this weekend, but we may not learn as much as we'd like about the top contenders.
Trainer John Salzman, Sr., said he is considering the Oct. 5 Phoenix Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Keeneland as the final prep for the Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Arlington Park for his champion filly Xtra Heat.
Day Trader strengthened the hand of trainer D. Wayne Lukas for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) with his impressive victory in the $150,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) at Turfway Park Sept. 14.
The queen of the sprint division, Xtra Heat, did nothing to hurt her chances for a return crack at the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) with a devastating five-length score in the $150,000 Endine Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park Sept. 7.
Xtra Heat was extra special in the $150,000 Endine Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park Saturday.
Champion Xtra Heat's next appearance following the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships will be in Fasig-Tipton's auction pavilion in November.
Purses are already pretty good at Delaware Park, but on Sept. 7, the annual owners' day sponsored by the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, they'll be even more lucrative.
In spite of his sixth-place finish in the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Aug. 25, fans have War Emblem as the 7-2 favorite Friday, the first day of the final pool for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Future Bet.
In her first easy race in months, champion filly Xtra Heat led gate-to-wire to easily win Saturday's $125,000 Straight Deal Breeders' Cup Handicap at Laurel Park.
Champion filly Xtra Heat headlines a five horse field in Saturday's $125,000 Straight Deal Breeders' Cup at Laurel Park, her home track.
Friday's Honorable Miss (gr. III) also attracts Shine Again, Nasty Storm and Mandy's Gold among a field of seven.
Champion filly Xtra Heat will skip Friday's featured $100,000 Honorable Miss Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga in favor of the Aug. 10 Straight Deal Breeders' Cup Handicap at Laurel Park.
Saratoga Notebook: Weight-y Matter; Medaglia's Plans Undecided; Shah is Haskell Bound; Volponi's Plans
Unhappy with the weights assigned for the Honorable Miss on Aug. 2, Gold Mover's trainer Mark Hennig said Saturday that his filly and champion Xtra Heat will not face each other in the race.
Two of the country's top female sprinters are slated to square off in Saturday's grade II Princess Rooney.
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.
Caller One, the earner of more than $3-million who defected from the Golden Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot, England, and champion Xtra Heat are among the nominees to Calder's 'Summit of Speed' day program on July 13. The race card that day includes four six-furlong stakes with $1.3 million in purses.
Xtra Heat gutted out a neck-length victory over Gold Mover in Sunday's Belmont Park feature, the 52nd running of the $150,000 Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares 3-years-old and older.
A big weekend of racing at Belmont Park will be capped off in grand style Sunday when millionaire sprinter Xtra Heat takes on six challengers in the Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II).
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- While media interest in this year's Belmont Stakes is unprecedented, the year-round depth of quality of racing is epitomized by the likes of Kona Gold, Xtra Heat, and others.
Xtra Heat earned her third win in four starts as a 4-year-old and her 20th in 26 career starts when she went wire-to-wire in Sunday's $150,000 Genuine Risk Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
Xtra Heat will no doubt bring the heat to Belmont Park by way of sizzling fractions in the Genuine Risk (gr. II) at six furlongs on Sunday.
Xtra Heat will no doubt bring the heat to Belmont Park by way of sizzling fractions in the Genuine Risk Handicap (gr. II) at six furlongs on Sunday.
Caller One won the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) for the second straight year Saturday night at Nad Al Sheba as American-based horse swept the top finishing positions.
The forces were pulling at Kenneth Taylor for months. There were certainly more enticing options than wandering halfway around the world, especially for a guy reluctant to air travel. But when you own the fastest filly on the planet, no obstacle is too great to hurdle.
Western Pride worked five furlongs in 1:03.13 at Nad Al Sheba Saturday as he prepares to be the lone American-based horse to run in the March 23 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Sheikh Hamdan's homebred Sakhee, who won last year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) and ran a close second in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), heads a field of 11 runners invited to contest the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) at 1 1/4 miles on dirt March 23.
The year 2001 was a hot one for anyone trying to keep pace with Xtra Heat. The bargain-basement $5,000 purchase brought attention to the oft-neglected sprint filly division by her domination of her rivals week in and week out, then nearly shook the industry to the core when she just failed to pull off a major upset at the World Thoroughbred Championships in the Penske Auto Center Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
The Maryland Jockey Club has been taking all kinds of extra heat from legislators, the Maryland Racing Commission, and horsemen's groups lately, but they didn't mind the kind of extra heat they got Feb. 16 with the 49th running of the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II).
Xtra Heat, a finalist in two Eclipse Award categories, drew post position two for Saturday's Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel. The Eclipse Awards will be announced Feb. 18.
Xtra Heat, the dual Eclipse Award finalist, has been nominated to two of the three stakes races scheduled for President's Day weekend at Laurel Park.
In a year without a lot of clear-cut favorites, Point Given is the lone unanimous choice in 2001 Eclipse Award balloting. The dual classic winner received top honors as champion 3-year-old male and is a finalist, along with Tiznow and Johannesburg, for Horse of the Year honors. Finalists in each of the Eclipse categories were announced Thursday.
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-I) March 23 at Nad Al Sheba, according to trainer John Salzman.
Xtra Heat returned to her winning ways Jan. 1, winning Aqueduct's six-furlong Interborough Handicap by 5 1/2 lengths. With her victory, Xtra Heat has now won 18 of her 23 career starts, with three seconds and a third, for earnings of $1,323,305.
- By Steve Haskin
Xtra Heat returned to her winning ways Jan. 1, winning Aqueduct's six-furlong Interborough Handicap by 5 1/2 lengths. The 4-year-old daughter of Dixieland Heat was coming off two rousing, but losing efforts, against colts in the Breeders' Cup Sprint and Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial.
Kenneth Taylor's Xtra Heat will make her first start as a 4-year-old on New Year's Day at Aqueduct when she goes to post as the 125-pound high weight in the $75,000 Interborough Handicap. The $5,000 auction purchase will concede from 11 to 14 pounds to her seven rivals in the six-furlong race and has been installed as the 2-5 favorite on the morning line.
Xtra Heat, who would have been heavily favored in Saturday's Garland of Roses Handicap at Aqueduct, will not run after coming down with a cough Friday morning, trainer John Salzman said from his barn at Laurel.
After a pair of impressive runs against the boys, the hickory tough Xtra Heat should be happy enough to face only members of her own sex Saturday in the $75,000 Garland of Roses Handicap at Aqueduct. The six-furlong sprint is the first stakes race of the New York track's inner track winter season.
A million-dollar international race doesn't usually serve as practice for a $300,000 stakes in Maryland. But following a script that was part wisdom and part luck, the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) turned out to be a dress rehearsal for the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) Nov. 17 at Laurel Park.
Headley & Molasky's Kona Gold heads a field of seven in the $300,000 grade I Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park on Saturday. Eclipse Award honors in the sprint division hinge on the outcome.
Kona Gold, champion sprinter of 2000, was to board a plane in California Tuesday and fly to Maryland to take on Xtra Heat, the local heroine, in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Nov. 17 at Laurel Park.
While the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Oct. 27 marked the end of the racing year or was the career finale for many participants, others plan to remain in training and will even race again before the 2001 season ends.
If the over and under on the number of Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) runners who had their final prep in England or France was 25, you would probably take the under, wouldn't you? This writer would have. But, counting them up shows 27 Sprint starters have shipped in from France or England. And, not surprisingly, more have finished last -- six -- than first -- one.
Jockey Rick Wilson remained hospitalized in serious but stable condition Saturday, one day after breaking his right leg and three ribs in a spill at Pimlico Race Course.
Breeders' Cup Sprint Report--10/1/2001
Xtra Heat earned her 16th win in her 19th career start, leading all the way to win the $150,000 Endine Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park Saturday.
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.
Victory Ride rebounded from her lone defeat to hand Xtra Heat just her third loss in 17 career starts in Saturday's $250,000 Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Xtra Heat is looking to ace another grade I win in Saturday's $250,000 Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course and score bonus points at the same time.
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