Xtra Heat, spices up Genuine Risk.

Xtra Heat, spices up Genuine Risk.

Genuine Risk: Bring on the Heat

By Paul Volponi

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. The John Salzman-trained filly has had a brief freshening since finishing third behind Caller One and Echo Eddie in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I).

The champion filly, owned by Salzman, Kenneth Taylor, and Harry Deitchman, has won 19 of 25 lifetime starts and earned $1643,305. She appears to hold a tremendous class edge over her female rivals in the Genuine Risk.

"She's training very well," said Salzman. "I hope she will run well. I think she will run well."

Concerning a potential speed duel in this encounter, Salzman commented, "If she runs her race, they won't be able to keep up with her."

Cynthia Knight's Dat You Miz Blue from the barn of Jimmy Jerkens has shown high speed in the past. Jerkens believes his filly is more speed-minded over an off-track and probably won't knock heads on the front end with Xtra Heat. "She's a tough one to figure out," said Jerkens of his strong willed mare. "She's tough to train--tough to gallop."

Trainer Mark Hennig, who believes Pleasant County can take back off the pace, would probably enjoy seeing a duel on the lead. "She'll rate," he said. "She'll sit a little bit if she has to. I don't mind picking up some pieces."

The presence of the speedy, Errol Mattis-trained Home on the Hill and the John Kimmel-trained Argentine-bred La Galerie also ensure rapid fractions.

Allen Jerkens has middle-mover Shine Again, the winner of last year's Ballerina Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, ready for her second engagement of the year.