Making her first appearance since being sold privately last month, champion Xtra Head will line up for the $75,000 Garland of Roses at Aqueduct Saturday. It will mark her fourth appearance on the Big A's inner track.
A partnership of David Plummer, Tony Ferguson, Thom Robinson, and John Parrot, racing under ClassicStar, purchased 2001's champion three-year-old filly from a partnership that included trainer John Salzman, for $1.5 million.
Xtra Heat will continue to race through at least March, and possibly to the end of 2003, if she remains sound. Jockey Rick Wilson, recovered from a broken leg and ribs, regains the mount on Xtra Heat from Harry Vega, who filled in while Wilson was nursing his injuries. Xtra Heat has won seven stakes in 10 tries this year.
She will have to tote high weight of 127 pounds against eight foes, the most accomplished of whom is Dat You Miz Blue.
The field for the Garland of Roses, in post position order with riders and weights:
1) Saskya (John McKee, 112)
2) Harmony Lodge (Mike Luzzi, 113)
3) Belle Artiste (Jean-Luc Samyn, 114)
4) Bonefide Reason (Javier Castellano, 113)
5) Xtra Heat (Rick Wilson, 127)
6) Outstanding Info (Shaun Bridgmohan, 113)
7) Astrid (C.C. Lopez, 113)
8) Redhead Riot (Richard Migliore, 114)
9) Dat You Miz Blue (John Velazquez, 116)