02/24/2007 1:00AM

Lexi Star gets away with slow pace


The lack of speed in the Maryland Racing Media Handicap didn't bother Lexi Star at all. Instead of sitting off the pace, the 5-year-old Lexi Star simply went for the lead.

Allowed to loaf through soft fractions of 49.15 seconds for the first half-mile and 1:13.62 for six furlongs, Lexi Star ($4.80) was uncatchable and coasted to a 6 1/4-length victory in the $86,400 feature at Laurel Park.

Trainer Chris Grove said he figured it would be better if jockey Ryan Fogelsonger put Lexi Star on the lead rather than allow another horse to set a tepid pace.

Fogelsonger said once he got away with a leisurely opening quarter in 25.09 seconds, the 1 1/8-mile race was all but over.

"It worked out after the first quarter," Fogelsonger said. "I knew I had it in about 25 and I figured now we just have to hold on, and she did it pretty easily."

Lexi Star, who completed nine furlongs on a fast track in 1:51.27, has now won 7 of 14 starts for owner Stephen Quick.

It's True Love, runner-up to Lexi Star in last month's Nellie Morse, finished second again, 5 1/4 lengths in front of Raging Rapids.