08/09/2002 11:00PM

Laurel: Xtra Heat cruises

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The $125,000 Straight Deal Breeders' Cup turned out to be little more than a public workout for Xtra Heat.

Last year's champion 3-year-old filly, Xtra Heat was hand ridden to a 2 1/2-length victory over four outclassed opponents in the seven-furlong Straight Deal at Laurel Park.

Xtra Heat ($2.10), who spotted her rivals 16 to 17 pounds while carrying 126 pounds, got some brief pressure from Winter Leaf through the first half-mile of 45.21 seconds, but shook off her closest pursuer entering the turn and won as rider Harry Vega pleased, covering the distance in 1:23.08.

"This was a good race for her," trainer John Salzman said. "She got a lot out of it without asking too much."

Salzman said he would consider running Xtra Heat next at Delaware Park in the Sept. 7 Endine Stakes, a Grade 3, $150,000 sprint run under allowance conditions, as a prep for the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Arlington Park.