11/05/2002 1:00AM

Xtra Heat sold for $1.5M


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Xtra Heat, who brought a $1.7 million bid but failed to reach her reserve at Fasig-Tipton's November sale Sunday night, has been sold privately to David Plummer of ClassicStar for $1.5 million. A 4-year-old filly, Xtra Heat won an Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly last year.

The deal stipulates that Xtra Heat will remain in training in 2003 and will continue to be trained by John Salzman, who previously owned the Dixieland Heat filly with partners Ken Taylor and Harry Deitchman.

Salzman said immediately after the Fasig-Tipton sale that Xtra Heat's ring price had been "very close" to the reserve the partnership had set. Last month, Salzman said the partnership would put a $2.2 million reserve on Xtra Heat, but representatives of consignor Taylor Made made it known before the sale that the partners had lowered their sights somewhat.

Plummer had been among the bidders Sunday night but stopped bidding, he said, when he felt he was bidding against the house.

"We thought they just weren't going to sell her," Plummer said. "Our plan then was not to buy her there but to call them the next day and make them an offer for what we thought she was worth.

"We know she's at the end of her racing career, and we don't pretend she's at the beginning of her racing career," he said. "She's at the top of her game, and she has an excellent trainer. Our plan is to let him train her for the next 90 days and then he'll tell us whether she's ready to go on racing or ready to go on and be bred."

Plummer said Fusaichi Pegasus is a likely breeding mate for Xtra Heat when she does retire.

Plummer has been on a buying binge at the November auctions, collecting some of Keeneland's and Fasig-Tipton's most expensive lots.

ClassicStar, which Plummer says is a four-man partnership of which he is the president and general manager, has bought about $20 million worth of broodmares at Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland in November.

Their purchases include probable Keeneland November sale-topper Bless, a $4 million full sister to Fusaichi Pegasus who is in foal to Storm Cat. Plummer, a Nevada resident, also bought the former Kenirey Stud property near Versailles, Ky., in January. He said ClassicStar plans to keep about 85 mares on the 300-acre property and will breed to race and sell.