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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Another Xtra Special Filly?

A highlight at today’s Fasig-Tipton Calder Selected Two-Year-Olds in Training sale will undoubtedly be Xtra Heat’s 2-year-old gray daughter by Unbridled’s Song, Don’t U Baby Me (Hip #64). Below is a video of her work under tack:

Considering she’s produced three stakes-placed winners in three tries, Xtra Heat looks to be off to a fine start as a broodmare. She also has a yearling by Songandaprayer, and is due this year to Street Cry.

As friend of this blog Laurie Asseo and I have been bemoaning to one another, it was exceedingly disappointing not to see Xtra Heat’s name among this year’s three finalists for the Hall of Fame. While Open Mind, Silverbulletday and Sky Beauty are certainly worthy candidates, to my way of thinking Xtra Heat has several advantages over them—she ran in nearly twice as many races (35) and won 26 of those—all but one (her maiden) were stakes races, and a record 11 of them were graded stakes. She finished out of the money only twice in her life: her only route attempt (2000 BC Juvenile Fillies) and the 2002 BC Sprint against males. On four other occasions she tested herself against male competition, finishing 1/2 length in second behind Squirtle Squirt in 2001 BC Sprint, third in both the 2001 G1 DeFrancis Memorial Dash and 2002 Dubai Golden Shaheen, and winning the G3 Phoenix BC by three lengths over Day Trader. I’ve argued these points before, so I won’t rehash my entire passionate argument. Let’s just hope this extraordinary sprinter isn’t overlooked next year.

Based upon her recent effort, it appears her daughter Elusive Heat could be very tough in the 3-year-old filly sprint races this year. Last heard, Kiaran McLaughlin was aiming her for the G3 Cicada. Here's her Gulfstream allowance win on January 29:


Unknown said...

Xtra Heat won all of one Grade 1 race during her career.

Anonymous said...

"Dont U Baby Me"??? What a horrible name. Maybe the purchaser can change it? She will surely be fast though.

Valerie Grash said...

And exactly how many G1s were there for female sprinters then? For 2-year-olds, there was the Del Mar Debutante and the Spinaway. For 3-year-olds, she won the Prioress the first year it was a G1, and finished second in the Test. The only other G1 was on the West Coast, the La Brea. For 3up fillies and mares, there was only the Ballerina and the Santa Monica; the Princess Rooney wasn't a G1 until 2006, the Humana Distaff until 2002, and the Vinery Madison until this year. That's it. No other G1 for filly sprinters. That's why she took on males. Besides, I hardly think the number of G1 races should be a deciding factor.

Watching the auction live, they just announced Don't U Baby Me was withdrawn. And you're right, Redbean, it is an awful name :(

Anonymous said...

I'm not positive on this, but I think Xtra Heat still owns the fastest time in the Prioress. Her second place (by 1/2 length) in the 2001 Breeders Cup Sprint was not too shabby either--just look at the lineup of male sprinters she beat in that race! She also looked very good beating males in the Phoenix.

I think it should count for a lot that Xtra Heat is the all-time stakes winning female runner in North America. Her consistency and durability were remarkable to see. There was no Eclipse award for female sprinters at the time, or she would have two more Eclipses in addition to her champion 3-year-old filly award. As it is, she was an Eclipse finalist in the sprinter category (against males) two years in a row.