Jockey Rick Wilson, who is flying to Dubai on Monday afternoon to ride sprinting sensation Xtra Heat in the $2 million Golden Shaheen on Saturday, got a nice sendoff with a rousing victory aboard John Newell's Deadline in the $60,000 Horatius Stakes for 3-year-olds at Laurel Park.Wilson put Deadline smack dab in the middle of a four-horse speed duel, and after energetic handling, emerged with the lead in the final sixteenth. Deadline completed the six furlongs in 1:09, beating Gators N Bears by a neck. Mt. Carson finished third. Deadline paid $16.60.One of the most popular horses in the world, Xtra Heat was purchased by three Marylanders for $5,000 at the 2000 Timonium spring sale and has won 26 races during her 35-race career with earnings of $2,389,635 and an Eclipse Award. Last fall she was sold privately to ClassicStar for $1.5 million. A victory in the Golden Shaheen would earn Xtra Heat $1.2 million and vault the daughter of Dixieland Heat from 12th place on the all-time earnings list for female runners to the top spot, passing Spain, who retired last year after earning $3,540,542 in a 35-race career.
"She worked tremendously over there," added Wilson. "She worked on the grass and went a little too fast for my liking. She went in .58 and John (trainer Salzman) said she did it easily and came out of the work great. He experts her to run a big race. It's unbelievable, this whole story and it's great for the game. I hope it gets more people interested in buying horses."Wilson has ridden Xtra Heat 15 times with 12 victories, including a pair of wins at Laurel Park this year. The duo won the What A Summer Stakes on Jan. 18 and followed that performance with a victory in the Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II) on Feb. 22.(Chart, Equibase)