CANADIAN-BRED LEXIE LOU WINS GRADE III AUTUMN MISS STAKES; NAKATANI, CASSE TEAM FOR 1 ¼ LENGTH WIN AT MILE ON GRASS

 

TWO-DAY PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $166,604 INTO SUNDAY, TOTAL POOL COULD EXCEED $750,000

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 25, 2014)–Although she won the $1 million Queen’s Plate in her native Canada this past July and had banked $1.3 million dollars in 14 starts, there were still doubts as to whether or not Lexie Lou could act in open graded company. Those doubts were summarily erased Saturday at Santa Anita, as the 3-year-old Sligo Bay filly powered to a 1 ¼ length win in the Grade III, $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes at Santa Anita, covering one mile on turf in 1:33.70 under Corey Nakatani.

Mid-pack at the rail in a field of 10 going into the far turn, Natkatani swung three wide at the quarter pole and Lexie Lou, in her U.S. debut, showed why she has four stakes wins and five stakes placings to her credit.

“She’s definitely a Grade I filly and we’ll see where she goes from here,” said Nakatani. “She loves to win. She’s got a high cruising speed and she’s tactical. There were some questions going into this race…I knew Mike (Smith, aboard runner-up Diversy Harbor) was coming, but when I reminded her to keep her mind on business, she did it.”

One of three horses at 3-1 and the actual favorite, Lexie Lou paid $8.40, $4.60 and $3.60. Owned by Gary Barber and trained by Mark Casse, she banked $60,000 for the win and increased her earnings to $1,369,714. Her overall record now stands at 15-7-2-2.

“Last time (10th place finish in the Grade II Canadian at Woodbine Sept. 14), she didn’t like the soft going,” said Barber. “We actually thought about not running because of it. We got a firm course today and she loved it. She proved she can win in open company and I’ll put her against open 3-year-olds right now on grass.

“With the exception of Untapable, I think she can run with anyone. We don’t have her schedule planned out yet, but we’ll keep her here for the winter and take her back to Woodbine in April.”

The narrow third choice at 3-1, Diversy Harbor unleashed a furious stretch rally from far back but had to settle for second, finishing a half length in front of pacesetter Zindaya.

“Corey had a better trip than us today,” said Smith. “That was the difference, the trip. I was forwardly placed. My mare can get rank sometimes, so if you don’t get the jump on everyone, you have to be careful of asking her…I was behind Corey the whole way so he had the run. He was where I would have liked to have been. I knew I wasn’t going to get there, not today. Not with the rail out (temporary, 24 feet) and him having the better trip.”

Diversy Harbor paid $4.00 and $3.00.

As expected, Zindaya, who made her Southern California debut on the heels of a pair of turf sprint wins in New York, showed the way, carving out fractions of 23.24, 46.22, 1:09.96 and 1:21.77 prior to succumbing well inside the sixteenth pole. Off at 9-2 under Brice Blanc, she paid $5.00 to show.

“She ran great,” said Blanc. “She got a little outrun late, but first time going that far, I thought it was a pretty good effort.”

There is a two-day Pick Six carryover into Sunday of $166,604 and it’s expected Sunday’s total Pick Six pool could exceed $750,000. First post time for the nine-race program is 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.

 

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