COREY NAKATANI, LEXIE LOU, WINNER: “Back when she won the Queen’s Plate (1 ¼ miles at Woodbine against Canadian-breds July 6) I spoke with Gary (Barber, owner) during Del Mar about going up there to ride her. If (regular rider) Patrick Husbands rode another horse in that race I would have gotten that opportunity but this was a good chance to get on her and she showed me who she is. She’s definitely a Grade I filly and we’ll see where she goes from here. She loves to win, she’s got a high cruising speed and she’s tactical.
“There were some questions going into this race. They felt she might not have handled the softer turf up in Canada as well as she would handle this turf. They felt the tighter turf course here could help her and it sure did. I knew Mike was coming (on second-place Diversy Harbor) but when I reminded her to keep her mind on business, she did it.”
MIKE SMITH, DIVERSY HARBOR, SECOND: “Corey (Nakatani, on winner Lexie Lou) had a better trip than us today. 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. She can give you too much in those situations. You’re at the mercy of the break; you can’t move much leaving there because she’ll go from ‘whoa’ to ‘go’ and she’ll flat run off.
“I didn’t get into any traffic trouble but Corey got the better trip. 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 and him having the better trip. His filly was never going to cave. With a better trip, and the rail down, I’ll have a much bigger chance.”
BRICE BLANC, ZINDAYA, THIRD: “She ran great. She got a little outrun late, but first time going that far, I thought it was a pretty great effort.”
RANDI MELTON, ASSISTANT TO MARK CASSE, LEXIE LOU, WINNER: “That’s what it seemed to be (that she didn’t fancy the “good” turf finishing 10th and last by 24 ¼ lengths at Woodbine on Sept. 14). It was surprising for her to run that way. We took our time and David (Adams, Casse’s assistant in Toronto) did a good job getting her back to where she needed to be.
“Mr. Barber (owner Gary Barber) handled all the (pre-race) instructions and he was 100 percent right. He said don’t fight her, at the quarter pole, just make ’em chase you.”
GARY BARBER, OWNER, LEXIE LOU, WINNER: “Last time (10th place finish in Grade II Canadian at Woodbine Sept. 14), she didn’t like to soft going. 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.”
NOTES: Winning owner Gary Barber is from Los Angeles.