07/03/2016 5:59PM

Lexie Lou hangs tough in Dance Smartly Stakes

Michael Burns
Lexie Lou battles back to win the Dance Smartly Stakes on Sunday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Lexie Lou ($8.60) looked like she was defeated in the late going, but battled back gamely along the rail to take the $233,200 Dance Smartly Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths over Strut the Course at Woodbine on Sunday.

Lexie Lou assumed control of the race early and set a legitimate pace under jockey Patrick Husbands, opening up a three-length advantage on the field turning for home.

Meanwhile, Strut the Course and Nakuti rallied from off the pace together and looked to go by Lexie Lou in the stretch, but Lexie Lou battled back late to record her second graded stakes victory of the year. Strut the Course nosed out Nakuti for second, while Heath came from well back to be fourth.

The Dance Smartly was run at about distance of 1 1/8 miles, and Lexie Lou covered the distance in 1:44.89 over firm turf.

“In post parade, she was awesome,” Husbands said. “When they got to her I had enough to get home.”

Lexie Lou improved her career record to nine wins from 23 starts, while also recording her third career graded-stakes score. She banked the $144,000 winner’s share to bring her career earnings to $1,738,491.