03/26/2002 12:00AM

Recovery time on agenda for Xtra Heat


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Xtra Heat, third as the favorite in the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai on Saturday, will spend three days in quarantine at Belmont Park later this week before heading home to Maryland for some rest and relaxation.

Xtra Heat, last year's champion 3-year-old filly, is scheduled to leave Dubai on Thursday for an 18-hour flight to New York. After the filly clears quarantine at Belmont, where her blood will be drawn to determine whether she has any infectious diseases, Xtra Heat will be vanned to Maryland on Monday.

John Salzman Sr., Xtra Heat's trainer and co-owner, said he's kicking around the idea of keeping her at his farm in Sykesville, Md., for a couple of weeks, rather than at his barn at Laurel.

"Maybe we'll let her drop her head and pick some grass for a couple of weeks," Salzman said Tuesday from Maryland. "It doesn't look like the race knocked her out, because I hear she's hollering for her food and bucking and playing."

Salzman brought Xtra Heat to Dubai one month before the Golden Shaheen and said the filly adjusted well to her unfamiliar surroundings. Salzman said that Xtra Heat's allergies kicked in several days before the race, but he was unable to treat her with antihistamines because he didn't want to take any chances with Dubai's strict no-medication policy on race day.

"I couldn't say how much the allergies bothered her," said Salzman, who said he didn't have a good view of the live race and didn't see a replay. "She started coughing four or five days before the race, but she had no fever and was eating good."

Salzman said he hasn't mapped out a specific plan for Xtra Heat, who added $200,000 to her bankroll by finishing third in the Golden Shaheen to bring her career earnings to $1,643,305. The obvious long-range goal for Xtra Heat is the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint at Arlington Park on Oct. 26. Xtra Heat finished second in last year's Sprint.

A possible summer target mentioned by Salzman is the $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder on July 13, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares that is part of the track's Summit of Speed program.

"Let's see how she is first; she still has to cross that water to get home," Salzman said.

Zonk in form for Next Move

Zonk, the winner of the Grade 3 Affectionately over the inner track, was assigned 118 pounds for Friday's $100,000-added Next Move Handicap for fillies and mares. Atelier, the race's defending champion, was assigned high weight of 120 pounds but is not expected to run in the Grade 3 Next Move.

Zonk, who won the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks last year, is coming off three good efforts over Aqueduct's inner track, including her one-length win over nine rivals in the Affectionately on Jan. 12. Trained by John Servis at Philadelphia Park, Zonk followed with a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Rare Treat, but was disqualified for interference and placed fourth. In her last start, on March 10 in an allowance race, Zonk was a gutsy half-length winner over With Ability, who is also expected in the 1 1/8-mile Next Move.

Servis said that Zonk, who is owned by Fox Hill Farms, has shown improvement from 3 to 4.

"She matured quite a bit mentally," said Servis, who would like to run Zonk back in the $300,000 Sixty Sails at Sportsman's Park on April 28 if she runs well Friday. "Not that she was bad by any means, but she did race green and now has really come to hand."

Richard Migliore, aboard for Zonk's last win, has the mount.

Others pointing to the Next Move are Irving's Baby (117), Shag (114), Diversa (113), Transcendental (113), Rift Valley (112), and Unrestrained (112). Pocus Hocus (111) is possible.

Migliore still hurting

Migliore said he considers himself lucky not to have been seriously injured when two of his mounts suffered broken legs last week. In both races, Migliore was unseated.

On Tuesday, Migliore said he was nursing some bumps and bruises and was "50-50" to ride on Wednesday's card, on which he was named on four horses.

"I'm beat up, but I'm feeling a little better today," Migliore said. "I've got a headache and some bruised ribs."

Migliore's first spill came last Wednesday, March 20, when Emily's Pleasure broke down over a sloppy track in the first race. The remaining races were canceled because the riders thought the track was unsafe. Migliore took off his mounts on Thursday with a sore shoulder and then returned on Friday.

On Saturday, Migliore's mount in the sixth race, Clearance, broke down around the far turn. Migliore took off his mounts in the seventh and ninth races, but in between rode favored Forest Heiress to a third-place finish in the $108,600 Cicada. On Sunday, Migliore piloted North East Bound to a sixth-place finish in the $700,000 Explosive Bid at the Fair Grounds.

* Saarland, prepping for the $750,000 Wood Memorial on April 13, worked a half-mile in 50.27 seconds, breezing, Tuesday at Belmont.