Updated on 09/15/2011 1:35PM

Cough forces Xtra Heat to be scratched


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Xtra Heat, who would have been the odds-on favorite in Saturday's $75,000 Garland of Roses Handicap, was scratched from that race on Friday because of a cough.

Trainer John Salzman said Xtra Heat coughed a couple of times before she was to train Friday morning at Laurel Park.

"She also left a handful of feed which she never does,' Salzman said.

Since she did not have a high temperature, Xtra Heat did train Friday morning, but was heard to cough eight times while galloping, according to Salzman. Xtra Heat was also coughing while she cooled out.

"I'm disappointed she's sick, but that's racing,' Salzman said. "She's not 100 percent, so we'll dance another dance.'

Xtra Heat is regarded as the best 3-year-old sprinting filly in the country. She won 9 stakes from 14 starts and finished second in the Breeders' Cup Sprint and was third in the De Francis Dash, racing both times against colts.

Salzman said if Xtra Heat gets well soon, he would point her to the $75,000 Interborough Handicap at Aqueduct on New Year's Day.

The scratch of Xtra Heat left a field of seven for the ungraded Garland of Roses, topped by Dat You Miz Blue and Raging Fever.

Lezcano-Zito team remains hot

Stop for Schnapps, under a patient ride from white-hot apprentice Lorenzo Lezcano, defeated Strolling Belle by a length in a Friday allowance race. The two are likely to meet again in the $100,000 Ladies Handicap on Dec. 22.

It was one of three wins on the day for Lezcano, who has gone 6 for 20 since racing moved to the inner track. It was also his sixth win for trainer Nick Zito since Nov. 6.

The victory was the fourth in six starts over the inner track for Stop for Schnapps, who may have benefited from a 13-pound weight break from Strolling Belle.

Meanwhile, Strolling Belle, the two-time defending Ladies Handicap winner, is now 3-2-0 in five starts over the inner.

While trainer John Kimmel may have been disappointed with Strolling Belle losing, he had to be heartened by the performance of It All Adds Up, a 6 3/4-length winner of a second-level allowance race on Thursday.

It All Adds Up, a daughter of Our Emblem, may be pointed to the $100,000 Affectionately Handicap on Jan. 12.

"That would be a spot to consider,' Kimmel said. "We'll have to see who's in it and decide if she's good enough or if she needs a little more racing under her belt. She's still only a three-other-than.'

White Ibis works for Runyon

White Ibis, a winner of three consecutive New York-bred juvenile stakes, worked six furlongs in 1:14.05 Friday over Belmont Park's training track in preparation for the $75,000 Damon Runyon Stakes on Dec. 16.

The move came six days after White Ibis drilled six furlongs in 1:13.07.

"Very good,' trainer Richard Destasio said of the move. "Last week, he breezed very well. I don't think the track is as fast today as it was last week. I was pleased, my exercise boy was pleased.'

In winning his last three starts, White Ibis has gone from seven furlongs to a mile and back to six furlongs. In the Damon Runyon, he will stretch out to 1 1/16 miles.

"``It isn't exactly how you plan it, but we've had enough time to prepare him for the race.," DeStasio said. "We were going to stop on him after the last one, but he's done very well since the race and this is the next race. Hopefully, he'll get the two turns.'

Destasio has more than a stakes-winning juvenile to occupy his time these days. On Nov. 30, Destasio's wife, Kathleen, gave birth to the couple's third child, a daughter named Grace.

o Julio Pezua was suspended 10 days for careless riding by the stewards for causing interference during the stretch run of Thursday's nightcap. Pezua was aboard Rhythmical Lady who drifted in in upper stretch, forcing Golden Hussy to steady. Rhythmical Lady was disqualified from second and placed third. Pezua has appealed the suspension.