Updated on 09/15/2011 2:35PM

Ladies, meet Xtra Heat

Michael J. Marten/Horsephotos
Xtra Heat wins the Beaumont. She is 10 for 10 against fillies at the Garland of Roses's six furlongs.

JAMAICA, N.Y. - It remains to be seen if her nine stakes wins this year and runner-up performance in the Breeders' Cup Sprint will be enough to earn Xtra Heat an Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding 3-year-old filly.

But her trainer, John Salzman, may have earned the award for understatement of the year when talking about his speedy filly's chances in Saturday's $75,000 Garland of Roses Handicap at Aqueduct.

"At least we have a little better shot than we did against those colts," Salzman said.

After facing the best male sprinters in the world in her last two starts, * meets her own gender in Saturday's Garland of Roses, an ungraded six-furlong race run over Aqueduct's inner track.

Xtra Heat is 10 for 10 when facing fillies at six furlongs, including wins in the Ruthless Stakes and Dearly Precious Stakes over the inner track last winter. Although she has already run 13 times this year - including facing colts in the Breeders' Cup Sprint and De Francis Dash in three weeks - Salzman sees no reason to stop on Xtra Heat now.

"Either you work them to death in the morning or you run them in the afternoon," Salzman said. "You get paid in the afternoon."

After receiving weight concessions in both the Breeders' Cup and De Francis, Xtra Heat will play the heavy in the Garland of Roses, carrying 124 pounds under Harry Vega from post 2. She will concede 4 to 13 pounds to her seven rivals.

Raging Fever, a multiple Grade 1 winner, and Dat You Miz Blue, a multiple stakes winner, top the competition in the eight-horse field.

Dat You Miz Blue won the Ready Jet Go Stakes at The Meadowlands in her last start, when trainer Jimmy Jerkens took her off Lasix. Jerkens said the Lasix Dat You Miz Blue ran on in her two previous starts dulled her.

Jerkens said Dat You Miz Blue's best chance at upsetting Xtra Heat is to challenge her early.

"I can't see sitting off her," Jerkens said. "You've got to let her get her legs underneath her and then if she wants, let her go. If our filly can make a run at her and get a head on her, maybe she can try to discourage that other filly, although you don't seem to be able to discourage that filly too easily."

If Dat You Miz Blue can hook Xtra Heat, that may set things up for Raging Fever, who gets in at 116 pounds. Raging Fever has not been out since finishing third to Xtra Heat in the Beaumont in April, but is training well for her return.


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