For the first time in its 54-year history, Belmont's Prioress Stakes will be run Wednesday as a grade I event. Most of the race's seven starters could make the event their first grade I win as Stormy Pick is the only member of that exclusive club slated to race Wednesday.
Cat Chat scored a nose victory Wednesday in Belmont Park's opening day feature, the $150,000, Nassau County Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies. Favored Xtra Heat, who had lost only one of 13 previous career starts, was runnerup with Shooting Party another 2 1/4 lengths behind. The loss ended a six-race win streak for Xtra Heat.
Xtra Heat set a quick pace under pressure from Raging Fever and drew off approaching the stretch to lead a strung-out field to the wire in Sunday's $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II). Undefeated in sprints, Xtra Heat has now won 12 of 13 career races, with her lone defeat coming in the 1 1/16-mile Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). The Beaumont marks her 11th stakes win and third in a graded stakes.
Xtra Heat beat Erin Moor by 1 3/4 lengths in Sunday's Aqueduct feature, the $103,100 Cicada Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies. Xtra Heat, carrying 122 pounds and jockey Rick Wilson, won for the 11th time in 12 career starts.
Horse racing and breeding news and information.
Xtra Heat, who capped her nearly perfect juvenile season with a stakes win at Laurel Park on Dec. 29, began her 3-year-old campaign on a similar note Sunday, winning the $80,575 Ruthless Stakes at Aqueduct. The win was the ninth in 10 career starts for Xtra Heat, whose only loss was a 10th-place finish in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
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.
Juvenile fillies notes
Arlington-Washington Lassie (gr. III) winner Thunder Bertie, a Churchill Downs-based contender for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, worked a sharp five furlongs Saturday to complete her serious training for the race. Other juveniles working toward Breeders' Cup races were Macho Uno, Holiday Thunder, and Xtra Heat.
Kenneth Taylor's Xtra Heat handed Gold Mover her first career defeat, winning the $110,100 Atarita Stakes (gr. II) by a neck Sunday at Belmont Park. Under Mark Johnston, the John E. Salzman-trained Xtra Heat completed the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.71 on a fast track.
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