ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 14, 2015)–Trainer Mark Casse’s highly accomplished Lexie Lou and Jerry Hollendorfer’s Sam’s Sister, an upset winner of the seven furlong La Brea Stakes, head a field of eight 4-year-old fillies in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 La Cañada Stakes at Santa Anita.
Second to Horse of the Year hopeful California Chrome in the Grade I Hollywood Derby on Nov. 29 at Del Mar, Lexie Lou gets back with her sorority sisters on Saturday but will be trying natural dirt for the first time in the La Cañada. A winner of four of eight starts last year, including Woobine’s Queen’s Plate versus Canadian-bred males and the Grade III Autumn Miss Stakes at Santa Anita, Lexie Lou has clearly stamped herself as an indefatigable competitor under varied conditions and thus looms the horse to beat.
Owned by Gary Barber, Lexie Lou, an Ontario-Canadian-bred daughter of Sligo Bay, has won sprinting and routing and has an overall mark of 16-7-3-2, with earnings of $1,429,714.
Off at 12-1 in the Grade I La Brea on Dec. 26, Sam’s Sister will be a much shorter price on Saturday, although the La Cañada will be her first try at two turns. Owned by Mark Dedomenico, LLC, George Todaro and Hollendorfer, Sam’s Sister has four wins from five starts and provided her sire, 2006 Santa Anita Derby winner Brother Derek, with his first Grade I winner in the opening day La Brea.
Sam’s Sister is one of three Hollendorfer-trained fillies signed-on to run Saturday and will be ridden again by regular pilot Elvis Trujillo. Bred in Kentucky, she is out of the Include mare Kittery Point and has earnings of $307,450.
Trainer Bob Baffert’s Jojo Warrior, who was well beaten at 7-2 in the La Brea, will attempt to rebound on the stretch-out. A Kentucky-bred filly by Pioneerof the Nile, she was a winner of the Grade II Summertime Oaks and was a close third in the Grade I Cotillion Stakes, both run at a mile and a sixteenth, last year. Bred by Zayat Stables, LLC and owned by Zayat and Winstar Farm, LLC, Jojo Warrior is 8-3-1-2 overall with earnings of $372,231.
The complete field for the 41st running of the La Cañada, to be run as the eighth race on a nine-race program, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Fleet of Gold, Alex Solis, 118; Sam’s Sister, Elvis Trujillo, 118; Lexie Lou, Corey Nakatani, 118; Thegirlinthatsong, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Jojo Warrior, Martin Garcia, 120; Une Cherise, Joe Talamo, 118; Ramona’s Wildcat, Kent Desormeaux, 118 and Colonel Joan, Gary Stevens, 118.
First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.