Updated on 09/16/2011 7:36AM

Xtra Heat jump-starts new year


JAMAICA, N.Y. - After a pair of losses in Grade 1's against males, Xtra Heat resumed her winning ways in Tuesday's $81,925 Interborough Handicap* (click here for chart) at Aqueduct in her first start as a 4-year-old.

The New Year's card, which featured the popular calendar giveaway, drew an announced crowd of 15,383.

Xtra Heat, a winner of nine of 13 starts in 2001 and the runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, toyed with her five overmatched rivals and flew home a 5 1/2-length winner over City Fair. It was a neck back to Look of the Lynx in third.

Xtra Heat, the 1-5 favorite under Harry Vega, quickly scooted to the front and opened a clear lead in the six-furlong Interborough and set fractions of 22.76 seconds and 46.39. With Ability chased Xtra Heat and attempted a run at the favorite around the turn, but to no avail. Xtra Heat extended her advantage in upper stretch and Vega, who periodically looked back to check on the competition, kept busy with his stick in the final yards even though Xtra Heat's lead wasn't threatened.

Xtra Heat ($2.70) covered the distance in 1:11.10 over a fast track while packing 125 pounds as the highweight. Xtra Heat is now undefeated in three starts over the inner track and is 11 for 11 in six-furlong races against her own gender. Her victory helped create a minus pool of $84,279.41.

Xtra Heat is trained and co-owned by John Salzman, who is partners with Ken Taylor and Harry Deitchman.

Salzman said Xtra Heat would run next in the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie on Feb. 16 at Laurel, the filly's home base. After the Fritchie, a trip to Dubai for the $2 million Golden Shaheen in March is planned.

"She had six weeks off, and that was a big vacation," said Salzman of the time between the DeFrancis Memorial, in which Xtra Heat was third, and the Interborough.

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