04/11/2015 7:34AM

Lexie Lou named 2014 Canadian Horse of the Year

Michael Burns
Lexie Lou gave trainer Mark Casse his first Queen's Plate victory last year.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Queen’s Plate and Woodbine Oaks winner Lexie Lou capped off her successful 2014 campaign with championships in three different divisions at the 40th annual Sovereign Awards on Friday night at Woodbine.

Lexie Lou received the majority of the votes to be named Canadian Horse of the Year over male sprint champion Calgary Cat and fellow female turf horse finalist Deceptive Vision, and she also captured the 3-year-old filly and female turf horse championships.

“I’m just so proud of Lexie Lou,” said trainer Mark Casse. “I was proud of her because I thought she represented Canada. I felt a little more pressure when she ran because she had so many followers, and it was a very proud day when she ran so well against California Chrome. For her to be able to compete against the Kentucky Derby winner and beat so many good horses, I was just very proud of her.”

Lexie Lou won four of her eight starts in 2014 and placed in two other races, including a second-place finish to California Chrome in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar. Along with her victories in the Queen’s Plate and Woodbine Oaks, Lexie Lou won the Wonder Where Stakes at Woodbine and the Grade 3 Autumn Miss Stakes at Santa Anita.

Casse captured his fourth straight and seventh career title as outstanding trainer after winning his first Queen’s Plate in 2014 and leading all Woodbine trainers in wins, stakes wins, graded stakes wins, and purse earnings.

Casse also saw four other horses he trains capture divisional honors. Dynamic Sky was named champion male turf horse, Hillaby earned champion female sprint honors, and Conquest Typhoon and Conquest Harlanate won champion 2-year-old male and champion 2-year-old filly.

One of Casse’s prominent owners, John Oxley, the owner of Dynamic Sky, also won his third consecutive title as outstanding owner.

Sam-Son Farm earned its ninth award as outstanding breeder and had one of its mares, Eye of the Sphynx, the dam of Queen’s Plate winner Eye of the Leopard and Deceptive Vision, named outstanding broodmare.

Patrick Husbands won his record eighth title as outstanding jockey, his first since 2009, while Sheena Ryan was named outstanding apprentice jockey.

Calgary Cat, who led all Woodbine horses with five wins last season, captured the male sprint championship after winning the Grade 2 Kennedy Road and Grade 3 Bold Venture stakes.

Lukes Alley won three of his four starts in 2014, including the Grade 2 Autumn and Grade 3 Durham Cup stakes, to claim the older male championship, while Strut the Course was a dominant winner of the Classy ‘n Smart and Grade 3 Maple Leaf stakes last season to earn older female honors.

In one of the closest vote tallies of the night, Heart to Heart won the 3-year-old male championship over Ami’s Holiday by just 15 voting points. Heart to Heart won three stakes in 2014, including the Grade 3 Jefferson Cup and Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf on grass at Churchill Downs. Lexie Lou also defeated Deceptive Vision by 15 voting points for the female turf horse championship.

The media award winners were Cindy Pierson Dulay for outstanding photograph, Dave Briggs for outstanding writing, and Scott Jagow for outstanding digital audio/visual and broadcast.

2014 Sovereign Award winners

Canadian Horse of the Year – Lexie Lou
2-year-old male – Conquest Typhoon
2-year-old female – Conquest Harlanate
3-year-old male – Heart to Heart
3-year-old female – Lexie Lou
Older male – Lukes Alley
Older female – Strut the Course
Male turf horse – Dynamic Sky
Female turf horse – Lexie Lou
Male sprinter – Calgary Cat
Female sprinter – Hillaby
Outstanding jockey – Patrick Husbands
Outstanding apprentice jockey – Sheena Ryan
Outstanding trainer – Mark Casse
Outstanding owner – John Oxley
Outstanding breeder – Sam-Son Farm
Outstanding broodmare – Eye of the Sphynx
Outstanding photograph – Cindy Pierson Dulay
Outstanding writing – Dave Briggs
Outstanding digital audio/visual and broadcast – Scott Jagow