Xtra Heat, winning the Interborough Handicap.

Xtra Heat, winning the Interborough Handicap.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Xtra Heat Draws Post Two in Barbara Fritchie

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.

A full field of 11 was entered for the seven-furlong Fritchie.

Xtra Heat, a finalist in both the sprinter and 3-year-old filly divisions, will carry 128 pounds, giving as many as 16 pounds. When the weights were announced Sunday, John Salzman, her trainer and co-owner, considered not running the Laurel
Park-based filly in her own backyard.

"We are going to run at Laurel on Saturday," said Salzman. "We got a great post position and it was the best decision for everyone."

Harry Vega will have the mount for the third straight time.Regular rider Rick Wilson is still recovering from a broken right leg, suffered in a spill at Pimlico in October.

If all goes well, Salzman indicated that Xtra Heat will head for Dubai for the $2 million Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), a six-furlong test on March 23.

A $5,000 purchase at the Timonium sales in 2000, Xtra Heat won nine of 13 starts (all stakes) last year, including four graded races and finished in the money all 13 times. She gained the national spotlight with two superb efforts against the boys--a gallant second in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) in October and a third in the Frank J. De Francis Dash
(gr. I) a month later.

Defending champion Prized Stamp will carry 114 pounds from the rail. Last year, she was an upset winner at odds of 17-1. Travis Dunkelberger will return to ride the Dale Capuano-trained filly. Dunkelberger moved his tack to New York from Maryland two weeks ago.

From the rail out: Prized Stamp,114, Dunkelberger; Xtra Heat, 128, Vega; Platinum Tiara, 113, Johnston; Gold Mover, 116, Landry; Kimbralata, 114, Dominguez; Lip Sing's Affair, 112, Rose; City Fair, 115, Bridgmohan, Your Out, 112, no boy; Cedar Knolls, 114, no boy; Dianehill, 114, Castellano; Case Of The Blues, 115, Pino.