12/08/2007 12:00AM

Lexi Star shines in Geisha

EmailHeavily favored Lexi Star basically turned the $60,000 Geisha Handicap at Laurel into a paid workout, bounding to the front and leading every step, without facing a challenge.

She ran the 1 1/8-mile race for Maryland-bred fillies and mares in 1:53.90 over muddy going and paid $2.40.

Under Juan Acosta, Lexi Star cut soft fractions of 25.50 seconds for a quarter-mile, 49.97 for the half, 1:14.64 for six furlongs, and 1:40.48 for the mile.

"It was as easy as it looked," Acosta said

Katie's Love chased her all the way around, was within two lengths turning for home, and ended up second, beaten 7 1/4 lengths. Scheing E Jet finished another 3 1/4 lengths back in third, and Hero's Lady and Swear to It completed the order of finish. Celestial Quest was scratched.

A 5-year-old by Crypto Star, Lexi Star raised her record to 9-3-2 from 21 starts and her earnings to $446,624 for owner Stephen Quick and trainer Chris Grove.

Somebody got down strong and early on Lexi Star to show. With 12 minutes to post there was $53,955 wagered in the show pool and $52,917 of it was on Lexi Star. At the time, Lexi Star was 1-9 to win, but the total win pool was only $4,329.

At post time, $197,883 of the $208,419 in the show pool was on Lexi Star. The win pool was only $34,718, and she had $23,311 of it.