06/09/2002 11:00PM

Xtra Heat carries weight, wins again


ELMONT, N.Y. - Carrying 127 pounds - and the hopes and dreams of pick six players nationwide - Xtra Heat prevailed Sunday, holding off a game Gold Mover by a neck to win the $150,000, Grade 2 Vagrancy Handicap before 8,517 at Belmont Park on Sunday.

It was the 21st victory from 27 career starts for Xtra Heat, last year's 3-year-old filly champion. A $5,000 2-year-old-in-training purchase, Xtra Heat pushed her career earnings to $1,823,305.

When the pick six went unhit on Belmont Stakes Day, it made for a carryover of $685,751 into Sunday's card. With the money wagered Sunday, a total of $1,890,095 was up for grabs in the pick six. The Vagrancy was the last leg of the wager, and Xtra Heat was a single on many tickets.

There were 677 winning pick six tickets, returning $2,351. The consolation payout, of which there were 10,893 tickets, returned $27.40.

Under 127 pounds, Xtra Heat was conceding 9 to 13 pounds to five rivals after the scratches of Penny Marie and Celtic Melody.

With Harry Vega up, Xtra Heat showed her customary speed and dueled outside of Gold Mover through an opening quarter in 22.55 seconds. Entering the turn, Gold Mover eased back, while La Galerie put the pressure on and the half-mile was run in 45.15 seconds.

Turning for home, La Galerie could not keep up, but Edgar Prado guided Gold Mover to the outside and she came on again. Her late rally, however, fell a neck short. Xtra Heat covered the 6 1-2 furlongs in 1:16.44 and returned $3.30 to win. Shine Again, Cat Cay and La Galerie, who bled, completed the order of finish.

Vega said he tried to ride Xtra Heat like he did when she won the seven-furlong Barbara Fritchie in February under 128 pounds.

"In the Barbara Fritchie I saved enough horse through the race and I had saved enough horse at the end, so I was more concerned with doing the same thing," Vega said. "If she's going to get beat, you're really going to have to run hard to beat her."

Gold Mover did run hard, but even with a 12-pound weight concession, she couldn't get there.

"Xtra Heat went by her around the turn and I gave a little breather to my filly," said Prado, who picked up the mount from a sore John Velazquez who took the day off. "When I was able to get out of there she kicked on again, but the winner is a game, game filly. It takes two to beat that filly."

Trainer John Salzman said Xtra Heat would be pointed to the $400,000 Princess Rooney Stakes at Calder on July 13.