Updated on 09/15/2011 12:32PM

A Grade 1 for Xtra Heat

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NYRA/Adam Coglianese
Xtra Heat (outside) outgames Above Perfection in Wednesday's Prioress, her first Grade 1 victory.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Xtra Heat, a $5,000 2-year-old purchase whose value has skyrocketed, filled in a missing piece in her and her trainer's career on Wednesday by winning the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes before a Fourth of July crowd of 19,273 at Belmont Park.

Racing on the pace from the outset, Xtra Heat outdueled the previously undefeated Above Perfection to the wire. It was six lengths back to Harmony Lodge. Stormy Pick, Shooting Party, Astrapi, and Cat Chat completed the order of finish.

It was the first Grade 1 victory for both Xtra Heat and for Salzman, a veteran conditioner on the Maryland circuit.

"That's the first Grade 1 I ever won; it's a good feeling," Salzman said. "And they were nice horses. Nobody took a breather anywhere that I could see. They ran hard the whole trip."

Not only did Xtra Heat run hard, she ran fast. Her final time of 1:08.26 for six furlongs smashed the previous stakes record of 1:08.80 set by Classy Mirage in 1993 and equaled by Capote Belle (1996) and Hurricane Bertie (1998). She returned $5.70 to win as the favorite.

She also did it carrying co-high weight of 121 pounds against an exceptional field that had combined to win 32 of 42 starts.

Xtra Heat and Above Perfection went at it from the start, racing heads apart through fractions of 21.92 seconds, 44.63, and 56.07. After Xtra Heat took the lead at the three-eighths pole, Above Perfection battled back in upper stretch. Xtra Heat regained the lead in midstretch and was able to fight off Above Perfection.

"She was running hard today; she didn't give an inch," winning rider Rick Wilson said.

Salzman, who also owns one-third of the filly, has been surprised for months that he still has Xtra Heat in his barn. Salzman and co-owner Ken Taylor said they thought they had Xtra Heat sold for $350,000 after her second start of her 2-year-old season. Earlier this year, they said they turned down an offer for $1.2 million.

"Ain't enough," Taylor said. "The price? Well, it was $2 million. I don't know what it is now."

Added Salzman: "The good Lord looks out for me because I'm dumb and blind; I would have sold her. The best thing that happened is I got stuck with her."

Xtra Heat, who has now earned $751,150, will make her next start in the Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga on July 28. She is eligible for a $200,000 bonus if she can add the Test to her win in the Grade 2 Beaumont at Keeneland.