05/09/2002 11:00PM

Xtra Heat makes post-trip debut


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer John Salzman said there is truly only one way to find out whether the trip to Dubai and back has dulled Xtra Heat, and that is to run his filly.

Salzman entered Xtra Heat, last year's champion 3-year-old filly, in Sunday's $150,000 Genuine Risk Handicap at Belmont Park. It is Xtra Heat's first race since finishing third against males in the Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 23.

Xtra Heat, who is based at Laurel Park, is a standout over five fillies and mares in the six-furlong Genuine Risk, a Grade 2.

Salzman's filly packs 126 pounds as the highweight and concedes nine to 15 pounds to her competition.

Last year at Belmont, Xtra Heat, who is 19 for 25 in her career, won the Grade 1 Prioress and was second in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Salzman said Xtra Heat hasn't given him any indication she is harboring any ill effects from her journey to the Middle East and believes she is ready for a top effort.

"She's training good and eating right through to the bottom of her tub," Salzman said. "But you've got to worry about the [Dubai trip] because you hear the stories about other horses. Naturally it worries me, no matter how good she is training."

Harry Vega rides Xtra Heat, who will flash her intense early speed from post 5.

Rain is in Sunday's forecast. Xtra Heat hasn't raced on a wet track, but Salzman said she has worked several times over slick surfaces and handled it well.

Jimmy Jerkens is hoping the heavens open up for Dat You Miz Blue, who is coming off an 8 1/2-length score in the slop in an Aqueduct allowance race. Last year, Dat You Miz Blue recorded a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 114 in the slop at Belmont.

"She seems a little better on a wet track," Jerkens said. "What she doesn't like is a slow track; she spins her wheels. Her best run is in the second quarter, but if she's not prominent early, she loses interest."

Dat You Miz Blue, who drew the rail and will be ridden by Edgar Prado, probably will be dogging Xtra Heat from the start.

Allen Jerkens, Jimmy's father, sends out Shine Again, the upset winner of last year's Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga. Shine Again bled in her last start, a fifth in the Hurricane Bertie at Gulfstream, and will race with Lasix for the first time.

La Galerie, Pleasant County, and Home on the Hill complete the field.