10/25/2014 7:35PM

Canadian filly Lexie Lou scores in Autumn Miss

Barbara D. Livingston
Lexie Lou, winner of the Queen's Plate earlier this year, delivers as the favorite under Corey Nakatani in the Autumn Miss.

ARCADIA, Calif.- Lexie Lou, Canada’s star filly, became a California girl on Saturday, winning her first American start in the $101,250 Autumn Miss Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita.

Lexie Lou won the Queen’s Plate against males in July, and two other stakes in the summer, but finished last of 10 in the Grade 2 Canadian International against older fillies and mares at Woodbine on Sept. 14.

That performance was largely forgotten when Lexie Lou rallied from sixth in a field of 10 to win the Grade 3 Autumn Miss  by 1 1/4 lengths over Diversy Harbor. A slight favorite, Lexie Lou ($8.40) ran a mile on turf in 1:33.70.

The Autumn Miss was jockey Corey Nakatani’s first stakes win of the autumn meeting.

“She showed me what she is,” Nakatani said. “She’s got the right style and has a high cruising speed. There were some questions going into this race. We thought a tight turf course would help her.”

Lexie Lou was about six lengths behind pacesetter Zindaya, who set early fractions of 23.24 and 46.22 seconds through the first half-mile. Lexie Lou was fifth with a quarter-mile remaining, but advanced to third at the eighth pole.

She took the lead with an impressive rally, and was kept alert by Nakatani through the stretch.

“I knew they were coming,” Nakatani said. “I gave her a couple of reminders to go about her business and she did.”

Diversy Harbor, a minor stakes winner here last March, finished a half-length in front of Zindaya, who made her stakes debut having won consecutive starts in New York since late August.

Sheza Smoke Show was fourth, followed by Thegirlinthatsong, Tiz Kissable, Famous Alice, Alexis Tangier, On the Backstreets,  and Wonderfully.

Lexie Lou, by Sligo Bay, races for Gary Barber and trainer Mark Casse. The filly has won 7 of 15 starts and $1,369,714. Casse said earlier this week that he hoped to use the Autumn Miss  as a prep for the $300,000 Matriarch Stakes over a mile on turf at Del Mar on Nov. 30. The Grade 1 Matriarch  was previously run at Hollywood Park, which closed last December.

Lexie Lou is the first Queen’s Plate winner to race at Santa Anita since Alydeed finished 13th in the 1993 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. She is the first Queen’s Plate winner to race in Southern California since Inglorious finished third in the Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park in 2012.